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Former Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell announces his retirement

Mitchell’s career has officially come to an end.

NFL: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in the New England Patriots’ offense is notoriously difficult, so it naturally was encouraging to see fourth-round rookie Malcolm Mitchell turn into a key contributor in 2016: the Georgia product appeared in 16 of the Patriots’ 19 games during the team’s Super Bowl run and finished his first NFL campaign with a combined 39 catches for 476 yards and four touchdowns. His rookie season was one of the best in New England’s recent memory.

Mitchell’s 16th game — Super Bowl 51 during which he caught six passes for 70 yards — unfortunately turned out to be his last one in the league: after missing all of 2017 due to a nagging knee injury and later getting released by the Patriots in August 2018, the 26-year-old announced his retirement at an event at his alma mater today. He followed the announcement by also sharing the following statement on Instagram:

There are moments beneath grabbing a breath of fresh air that those too close don’t care for, and all we’ve endured has not prepared us for the things to come, good or bad. Whatever you do, do it with creativity, fluidity, sophistication, fearlessness and for the culture crashers. Everything will work out. The world has a knack for correcting itself.

With Mitchell’s playing days officially coming to an end, his focus will now fully turn on his reading initiative Read With Malcolm and his work as an author of children’s literature.