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Patriots XLIX champion Bryan Stork to ‘officially step away’ from football

A 2014 fourth-round pick, Bryan Stork started 21 games through two campaigns in Foxborough.

A former New England Patriots draft pick and Super Bowl champion is moving on from the NFL at 26 years old.

Center Bryan Stork announced via Twitter on Tuesday evening that while he cannot say he’s retiring, he has “decided to officially step away from playing the game of football.”

“While chasing a childhood dream I was very blessed I had family, friends, and coaches on my side to help me get to where I wanted to go,” Stork wrote. “Along the way I was able to achieve awards and championships but I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Selected No. 105 overall in the 2014 NFL draft out of Florida State, where he garnered the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center and helped bring a national championship back to Tallahassee as a senior, Stork went on to start 21 of his 25 regular-season and playoff appearances for the Patriots.

The 6-foot-4, 310-pound blocker started in the middle of things against the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX as a rookie, but began his second season in Foxborough on short-term injured reserve after suffering his third diagnosed concussion in as many years during training camp in 2015.

Stork returned to play in 10 games, starting eight, during the latter part of that campaign. It would, however, mark his final one with New England as undrafted free agent David Andrews stepped in to log the fifth-most snaps on the offensive side of the ball in his absence.

In August of 2016, the Patriots traded Stork to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a conditional 2017 seventh-round pick. Though before the deal was finalized, a failed physical nullified the swap and culminated in the Patriots placing Stork on waivers.

Stork spent the rest of 2016 out of football after going unclaimed. Now, he is looking ahead to his life after it.

“Looking back on how much was accomplished in a short amount of time gives me confidence that I’m capable of accomplishing whatever I do next at the highest level,” Stork said. “Life is like a game of poker, ‘know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to run,’ – Kenny Rogers.”

Just three members of the Patriots’ nine-man 2014 draft class remain on the roster. That list includes second-round quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, as well as a pair of fourth-rounders taken soon after Stork in running back James White and offensive tackle Cameron Fleming.