Dec 27, 2009; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light (72) heads to the sideline as they take on the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second quarter at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Jaguars 35-7. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Light’s OUT! Patriots OT Matt Light Retires

New England Patiots Pro-Bowl LT Matt Light announced his retirement from the NFL on Wednesday.

Light’s decision to leave the game, as reported by Mike Florio, doesn’t come as a huge shock. There has been speculation throughout the off-season that Light’s decision was imminent, to the point that Nate Solder was quoted as saying he was ready to take over, should he be asked to.

Even with Solder, a very good young player, filling the void, Tom Brady will surely miss the 6’4” LT that so ably protected his blindside these past 10 seasons. This void is significant and could heavily influence next weeks NFL draft, possibly placing more emphasis on getting an OT with a higher pick as opposed to a more defensive approach.

Out of Purdue, Matt was taken by the Patriots in the second round of the 2001 draft at #48. Incredibly durable, Matt started ALL of his college games (where he protected one Mr. Drew Brees) and 153 games for New England (only missing the majority of the 2005 season due to an ankle). Over the course of this career, he helped his team win 7 division championships, four AFC titles and 3 Super Bowls. His exceptional play at his position earned him appearances in 3 pro-bowls.

Off the field, Matt established the Light Foundation, a charity that awards scholarships to high school students in the different areas he has played (Greenville OH, W. Lafayett IN & New England). These philanthropic endeavors have also been recognized at the highest levels, earning him both the New England Patriots’ Ron Burton Community Service Award & the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

For all that you’ve done over the years Matt, I want to say thank you. And I ESPECIALLY want to thank you for leaving us with this!

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