Veteran OL Dan Connolly Announces Retirement

Veteran OL Dan Connolly Announces Retirement

Veteran offensive lineman Dan Connolly has announced his retirement.

Going out with a Super Bowl XLIX win made the decision a little easier for the 2014 Patriots team captain.

“It definitely played a part in it; helped me sleep better. I’m more at ease with the decision,” Connolly told Reiss.

Connolly first arrived in Foxborough on the practice squad in 2007, and the former Jacksonville Jaguars undrafted free agent out of Southeast Missouri State was last offensive lineman remaining from that Patriots team by 2014. He appeared in 85 regular-season games for New England, starting 71 games at both center and guard over that span before becoming an unrestricted free agent on March 10.

The 32-year-old veteran drew interest from the Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the new league year got underway. But Connolly’s own interest in staying close to home with his family, as well as his long-term future after sustaining four documented concussions, ultimately outweighed his opportunities outside of New England.

“It’s important to me to leave the game healthy,” Connolly added. “I’m able to be here for my kids and walk away on my own terms. I feel like I got everything I could out of football in playing 10 years, winning a Super Bowl, and playing alongside some truly great players.”

Connolly attended the Patriots’ ring ceremony at owner Robert Kraft’s home last month, and on Wednesday evening, he was alongside his teammates as they accepted an ESPY award for Best Game following February’s 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.