Matthew Slater

Patriots' defensive stalwart Ninkovich retires

New England Patriots defensive stalwart Rob Ninkovich capped his 11-year NFL career by announcing his retirement Sunday after the team's morning practice at Gillette Stadium.

Since joining the Patriots in 2009, Ninkovich had proven to be one of the team's most durable and dependable players.

A defensive end and linebacker, he was a two-time co-captain and won two Super Bowls with New England. But he didn't take the easiest route to get there.

A fifth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2006, he was waived four times by the Saints and Miami Dolphins before joining the Patriots just before the start of the 2009 season — after spending that offseason trying to make...

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