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Patriots safety Devin McCourty announces his retirement from the NFL

The long-time team captain is calling it a career.

NFL: NOV 06 Colts at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After weeks of speculation, it is now official: New England Patriots safety Devin McCourty is retiring from the NFL.

The 35-year-old joined his twin brother and fellow ex-Patriot Jason McCourty on social media on Friday to announce the news.

“It has been a great ride,” McCourty said. “I got the opportunity to talk to Mr. [Robert] Kraft, to talk to Bill [Belichick], a lot of the guys on the defensive staff. Unbelievable ride, man.”

McCourty originally entered the NFL as a first-round selection in the 2010 draft. The Patriots investing the 27th overall pick in him that year paid major dividends through the years: he helped the team win three Super Bowls, appeared in a combined 229 regular season and playoff games, and was voted a team captain in 12 straight seasons.

McCourty has been the heart and soul of the Patriots’ secondary for over a decade, and one of the NFL’s best and most consistent safeties year-in and year-out. Needless to say that his retirement leaves a whole on the team’s roster, and in its locker room.