Patriots DE Rob Ninkovich will retire today

Report | Patriots Rob Ninkovich to announce retirement on Sunday

Underneath the message was Ninkovich's No. 50, with a New England Patriots logo in the middle, and then five images of Ninkovich, one of which was him kissing the Lombardi Trophy.

There was a significant announcement Sunday at the New England Patriots' training camp, an event of such importance that Coach Bill Belichick pushed back a staff meeting and sat on the floor as seats in the media room filled.

By the time Rob Ninkovich's retirement news conference began around 12:20 p.m. ET on Sunday, more than 30 players - many still sweating from having just come off the practice field - packed into the team's media workroom normally reserved for reporters.

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Despite his seemingly sudden retirement, there are no hard feelings between Ninkovich and the Patriots. He recorded 8 sacks in three straight years from 2012-14, and played for the 2014 and 2016 Super Bowl teams. He finishes his career with 46 sacks and 10 forced fumbles.

Rob Ninkovich entered the league, and was drafted by the New Orlean Saints in 2006. He started in 94 consecutive games over the course of his career in New England.

After Belichick was Robert Kraft who spoke about how important he was to the organization and became a fan favorite.

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"It's with really mixed emotions that stand here today to congratulate Rob on just a tremendous, tremendous football and personal career", Belichick said.

A tearful Ninkovich spoke directly to Belichick at the news conference. Hopefully my playing career has taught me a lot and playing for you I learned a tremendous amount.

"When you're trying to build back up when you're younger, I feel like you can build back up and you're OK, and you feel OK", Ninkovich said.

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"I won't miss ice tubs and being sore for a week". That's every year. I tell him, 'Be completely honest with me, and I'll be completely honest with you.

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