Training camp wouldn’t be complete without a player retiring, and this year’s candidate appears to be Patriots linebacker Derrick Burgess.
According to a report by Len Pasquarelli of ESPN Burgess was not at camp on Thursday and is apparently contemplating retirement.
This potentially leaves New England down one experienced veteran at the linebacker spot, which with the release of Shawn Crable yesterday would be the second player gone from the roster – although Crable’s only experience was on the sideline. The only good news would be that it potentially opens up more opportunities for some of the other guys battling for a spot with the team.
Last year saw Patriots veteran Tedy Bruschi hang up his cleats in an emotional press conference where he announced his retirement. While Burgess wouldn’t garner that type of attention, his loss is still one that wouldn’t exactly be a good thing. You can never have too much depth and experience, and with the amount of youth they already have he’s a guy that they could definitely use.
Some fans may disagree after Burgess recorded just five sacks last year during his first season with New England, but some reports over the offseason said it was due to the fact that he wasn’t utilized correctly. Obviously Belichick saw enough in him to bring him back this season after Burgess didn’t get much interest in free agency, and there was talk that in a new role this year may have been a more productive season for him.
Now we may not get to see what he could have done in a different position, although nothing is official just yet. Who knows, he could simply just be trying to elude a week of double sessions. We’ll have to see how this turns out.