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Dan Connolly Announces Retirement

BOSTON (CBS) -- Veteran offensive lineman Dan Connolly has announced his retirement.

Connolly, who served as a team captain for the Patriots last season, made the announcement to ESPN's Mike Reiss. The 32-year-old said winning the Super Bowl last year and going out on top made the decision a little bit easier.

"It definitely played a part in it; helped me sleep better. I'm more at ease with the decision," Connolly said.

Connolly said he could have played another year or two, and had interest from some teams around the league, but ultimately it came down to health. Throughout his NFL career, Connolly suffered four concussions, including another one during his high school days.

"It's important to me to leave the game healthy," Connolly said. "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 became a fan favorite in New England in 2010 when he grabbed a short kickoff and scrambled 71 yards against the Green Bay Packers:

Connolly, who originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2005, joined the Patriots practice squad in 2007, earning a role on the active roster during the 2008 season. He showed off his versatility, playing left guard, center and right guard in New England.

"With my football career coming to a close I am grateful for the opportunity given to me by the Kraft family and Coach Belichick," said Connolly. "It is an honor to have been part of such a great organization for the past eight seasons."

Beetle & Hardy discuss Connolly's retirement: 

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