Patriots Linebacker David Harris Announces Retirement After 11 NFL Seasons

New England Patriots outside linebacker David Harris

Photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images

David Harris is calling it a career.

The New England Patriots linebacker released a statement Friday through his agency, Sportstars, officially announcing his retirement from the NFL.

Harris spent 10 of his 11 pro seasons with the New York Jets, tallying 100-plus tackles six times and five-plus sacks four times. He earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2009 after finishing with 127 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two pass breakups.

A poster child for durability during his decade in New York, he played in 154 of a possible 160 regular-season games for the Jets, including all 16 in eight of his 10 seasons.

Harris signed a two-year contract with the Patriots last summer but never found a role in New England.

The 34-year-old was a healthy scratch for five regular-season games — including both matchups with the Jets — dressed but did not play in another and was inactive for all three of the Patriots’ postseason contests. He finished the season with 15 tackles, 1 1/2 sacks and one pass breakup.

Despite his lack of playing time, Harris routinely garnered high praise from Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who commended the veteran for his leadership and team-first attitude.

“He’s been a great teammate,” Belichick said in October. “I couldn’t have asked for him to have any better attitude or any more cooperation than we’ve had from him. It’s been great.”

Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy expressed his admiration for Harris in a series of tweets Friday afternoon, saying he deserves a spot in the Jets’ Ring of Honor.

Harris’ retirement saves the Patriots $2.125 million in salary cap space.

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