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Report: Derrick Burgess is Considering Retirement

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Len Pasquarelli of ESPN has the report:

Nine-year veteran pass-rusher Derrick Burgess, who did not report Thursday for the start of the New England Patriots' training camp, is considering retirement from the NFL, sources confirmed to ESPN.com.

Burgess, 31, re-signed with the Patriots this spring, after a three-month stint as an unrestricted free agent garnered only modest interest in him. He received a one-year, $1.5 million contract from the Pats.Expected to provide New England with an outside pass rush, Burgess recorded only five sacks in '09, his first season with New England.

Sources said that, as recently as Wednesday, Burgess told associates that he was leaning toward retirement. Those same sources indicated, however, that Burgess could still change his mind about his immediate future. Patriots officials have been apprised that Burgess may retire.

This really comes as surprising news for the Patriots.  When Burgess was brought back this offseason, the feeling was that he would probably start at one outside linebacker spot, especially if one of the younger guys didn't develop quickly.  The worst-case scenario for Burgess looked to have his role as a rusher on third downs and in sub-packages.

The good thing is, Burgess has alerted the Patriots of his situation, and I'm sure he'll get a little bit of time to mull things over.  I will try not to overreact to this news until anything is official, but you have to wonder if Bill Belichick new about this when he released Shawn Crable yesterday.