Today it was announced that former Patriots defensive tackle Armond Armstead would be retiring. Armstead was with the team since 2013, but never saw the playing field due to a myriad of healthy problems.
Bill Belichick released this statement upon hearing Armstead’s news: (Via ESPN Boston)
“It has been a pleasure being around Armond, as he gave us everything he could to play for us. Armond worked extremely hard since joining us last February. He’s had a lot of adversity personally that he’s had to deal with — unusual compared to most other players — but he’s always had a great attitude, worked hard, and really did everything we asked him to do. While it is unfortunate he will not be able to play football, Armond is an outstanding young man who has a very bright future in whatever path he chooses.”
That is high praise from Belichick, and even though Armstead never got to show what he could do on the playing field, I think he gained the respect of the Patriots.
This shouldn’t affect New England too much, because as Mike Reiss says, this news likely didn’t surprise the Pats. They were prepared to go on without Armstead in 2014, and now they will have to do just that.
They have plenty of good talent lined up in that front seven without Armstead in the fold. Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly should be back, along with rookie Dominique Easley, who is incredibly explosive off the ball. I am hoping that the front four will be a strength of this team in the coming months.
The Pats’ roster is now back to 89 players, which is one below the max. They should be signing someone shortly.
It would have been nice to see what Armstead could do with the team, but sometimes these things don’t work out. I wish him all the best as he moves on with his life.