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Short-term Patriots defender Michael Bennett retires from the NFL

Related: Ex-Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown announces his retirement (again)

New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Michael Bennett went from undrafted free agent to Super Bowl champion and a player who appeared in a combined 168 regular season and playoff games over the course of his 11-year career — one that he ended today: Bennett, who also spent a few months with the New England Patriots last year, took to social media to announce his retirement from pro football earlier on Tuesday.

Retiring feels a little like death of self, but I’m looking forward to the rebirth - the opportunity to reimagine my purpose. I would like to thank my wife and children, who have sacrificed so much for me to succeed. I’m looking forward to supporting them the same way they have me these past 11 years. I have never been more at peace in my life. As the great Toni Morrison said: “Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.”

Bennett started his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and later also spent time with the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles before being traded to New England last March. While initially projected to play a prominent role on a defense that had lost Trey Flowers in free agency, Bennett failed to make much of an impact and went on to play just six games with the Patriots in a rotational role. He registered 2.5 sacks before he was traded again, this time to the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite his disappointing stint in New England, Bennett has a successful career to look back on.