Ian Rapoport reported on Wednesday that despite his comments at the end of the season, Patriots Guard Stephen Neal won’t be retiring after all and instead will test the free agent market.

According to his agent, Neil Cornrich, Neal will test the waters and see what type of deal the 33-year old veteran can land with another team.

“He’s going to be playing,” Cornrich told ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter today, per Tim Graham’s AFC East blog. “We expect there to be a vibrant free-agent market for his services.”

Neal’s body has taken a beating over the years, but the veteran has been an intricate part of New England’s success during their championship runs.  At the end of the 2009 season he told the Boston Herald, “I’m not sure how my body is going to feel,” Neal said. “Not sure if I’ll keep getting into them car accidents every week, I don’t know. We’ll have to find out. Talk to the family, see what options are available.”

Apparently he’s had that discussion, and it involves trying to play for another couple of seasons.  Hopefully he lands a good deal and has success, we wish him well.