Ninkovich retirement could be coming

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During a recent visit to PFT Live, 33-year-old Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich said he has no specific plan for playing to a certain age and would take it one year at a time. As it turns out, this year could be the year when he retires.

Not after it, but before. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes that Ninkovich has been absent from training-camp practices for what head coach Bill Belichick calls “personal reasons,” and that Ninkovich is not expected to practice on Sunday.

Reiss says Ninkovich has been considering retirement, and that “[i]t would be a surprise” if more clarity regarding his situation didn’t come “within the next 24 hours or so.”

Here’s one thing we know: Ninkovich won’t be playing elsewhere. He said during his PFT Live visit that he couldn’t see himself playing for any team other than the one for which he has played since 2009, a move that happened after bouncing around from New Orleans to Miami and back to New Orleans early in his career.

Ninkovich signed a one-year extension during the 2016 season, putting him under contract through 2017. If he retires, he’d potentially be required to refund a portion of his $1.5 million signing bonus.

26 responses to “Ninkovich retirement could be coming

  1. He was a nobody when he got to Foxboro after only playing in eight games in three years with New Orleans and Miami and became a very solid starter in New England. He always seemed to be around the ball, but he started to fade with age and an injury. Looks like the team anticipated this happening. It makes the David Harris signing even more important now.

  2. So that they can rep the depth more, the Pats have a habit of rainchecking their vets from starting camp – don’t forget most years these vets play a month longer than on most teams. Current examples of Hightower and Branch (this and last year) come to mind, so you can’t read too much into it in itself. BUT – despite having 6 DEs, Pats just signed Caleb Kidder, who could be a mini-Nink – though that may simply be because BB expects Nink to retire after SB52 – whether or not Nink wants it!

  3. Ninkovich is one of those rock-solid guys that make the Patriots the Patriots.

    In my book, he is one of those unsung defensive heroes such as Vrabel, Bruschi, Tippett, and Mcginest, (among many others).
    Guys that work their butts off, never complain, stand-up citizens, and never let you down.

    Whenever Rob decides to retire, he will certainly be missed.

    If retirement gets boring…bring a case of Sammy Adams to SW Florida. I’ll take you out fishing.

  4. I remember watching him play last year and thinking it was probably his last season…
    If it’s the case thank you for the solid leadership and enjoy retirement, Rob. You gave it all.

  5. As Trey Flowers game came on they rotated Nink out a lot more last season than in previous years but for a Pats DE he still had a pretty high snap count. His football smarts would be missed for certain. He is the quintessential Belichick guy, high motor and not caught out of position often. He’s good with a mic in front of him so if he is retiring you’d expect he’d land a media gig for the coming season but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him end up coaching down the road.

  6. .
    It’s pre camp and pre injury, but the Patriots have a front seven logjam. They have several young players like Grissom, Rivers, Bates and Wise who are fighting for reps. Belichick usually likes to invest in 23 year olds, as opposed to 33 year olds.
    .

  7. I think the Pats knew this was coming. Their 1rst 2 draft pks were edge guys. Ninkovich has made a lot of big plays, but looked bad at the end of last yr. The Pats are thin on the edge after Flowers. At this early stage KEaly doesn’t seem to be getting it. Still, pretty nice run for a guy that was trying to hang on as a long snapper in NOrleans. Bet the Krafts lets him keep his bonus, because that’s the kind of class they have.

  8. Enjoy retirement Nink. Glad you could end your career a winner.

    and look at the haters casting their hate votes and showing their human value this morning.

  9. BB will look at the tape and tell him honestly when he’s done. All great Pats teams have had a hunky at linebacker though.

  10. Nink wasn’t the fastest or the strongest but he made a number of big plays at the most opportune time. He was a testament to BB’s brilliance: take a guy kicking around the league and turn him into a valuable piece in a highly functioning machine. He’ll take his place alongside Vrabel, Harrison, et al in Pats lore. Good luck to a true Pat!

  11. Ninkovich was a Patriot’s Patriot. Brought the hard hat and lunch pail every day. If I’m being honest, I think he struggled to set the edge a lot last season, and he also was iffy in the last Super Bowl. So if his body doesn’t feel up to it, this is a great time to walk away for only involved. Not a lot of guys get better at 33. But what a game to walk out on, arguably the best Super Bowl of all-time. I’d be considering hanging it up for that reason alone, I don’t know how you top that.

  12. TheTruth says:
    Jul 30, 2017 9:09 AM
    Enjoy retirement Nink. Glad you could end your career a winner.

    and look at the haters casting their hate votes and showing their human value this morning.
    ______________

    Haha it’s not haterS 90% of it is just one sad little gal in miami with a new shtick. She’s really losing it now. I love it, this is even better than all the moronic posts under different id’s. Look at the effort she puts into obsessing over a team she doesn’t cheer for, all the while not knowing that for most Pats fans it only adds to our enjoyment of her misery when we see every painstaking little vote.

  13. Haha it’s not haterS 90% of it is just one sad little gal in miami with a new shtick. She’s really losing it now. I love it, this is even better than all the moronic posts under different id’s. Look at the effort she puts into obsessing over a team she doesn’t cheer for, all the while not knowing that for most Pats fans it only adds to our enjoyment of her misery when we see every painstaking little vote.

    1 0
    Report comment

    —-

    how do you know miami? it could easily be
    new jersey

  14. Thanks for the info on the Florida girl. I could not understand the thumbs down numbers. The saying goes, “Florida, not like the rest off us.”

  15. He’s one of my favorite Patriots…always around the ball and making clutch plays when they need it most. I’ll miss him if he goes,but I would feel worse seeing him play for another team.

  16. YuriTestikov says:
    Jul 30, 2017 8:42 AM
    average player at best.. nothing to see here

    116 111
    Report comment

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    lol

    yeah, a guy who just played in 6 straight afc
    title games as a strong side de or 3-4 olb
    offers very little to a bb defense

    absolutely priceless jealousy you are showing

  17. bencoates57 says:
    Jul 30, 2017 9:12 AM
    God, I hope not. We need him.
    ——————————————————–
    First of all, “you” are not part of the Patriots organization, so drop the “we”. Second, I thought “you” didn’t need anyone but Brady and the Hoodie.

  18. tylawspick6 says:
    Jul 30, 2017 11:48 AM

    how do you know miami? it could easily be
    new jersey
    ________________

    Because at 8:00 this morning one of her known alias id’s had the only negative post here and it had a ridiculous number of upvotes while the few other positive ones that were here at the time were running preposterously in the red. Besides, most Jets fans have already given up.

  19. Wow, do some of you guys get bent out of shape over down votes. For the record, more than 1 person thumbs downs your posts. And don’t act like you don’t troll other teams, tylaw. You post on every Giants story. 18-1 kills you still!

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