FOXBORO, Mass. — Rob Ninkovich walked away from the NFL on Sunday. But he has no intention of walking away from the New England Patriots.
During his retirement news conference, the 33-year-old defensive end said despite the fact he no longer will play for the Patriots, he’ll continue to be a diehard supporter of them.
“I know this team is a tremendous football team this year,” said Ninkovich, who spent his eight of his 11 NFL seasons in New England. “They’re going to be great. I’m going to be their biggest fan.”
Ninkovich also plans on seeing what the Gillette Stadium parking lots have to offer.
“I’ve never tailgated,” he said. “So if you see me out there, I like ice water — just kidding.”
Ninkovich later expanded on his plans for life after football. He’s considered a career in media, he said, and wants to remain involved with the Patriots. That could include attending practices and working with New England’s defensive ends, a unit now led by 23-year-old Trey Flowers.
“I definitely would be coming to practice, maybe, to help the guys out 1-on-1,” Ninkovich said. “Because as a player, you see things in a different way. … I’m definitely going to help out and do the best that I can with the guys that are here.”
Ninkovich said he’s spoken with former Patriots teammate Jerod Mayo and several other ex-NFLers about making the transition to retirement. And he believes the Pats will be just fine without him.
“The Patriots organization is like a freight train,” he said.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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