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BOSTON (CBS) – After 13 seasons with the New England Patriots, Kevin Faulk will officially retire from football on Tuesday.
Drafted in 1999, Faulk will walk away the franchise leader in all-purpose yards with 12,349. More importantly, he will be remembered as the most clutch third-down backs in New England history.
But the memories of Faulk will not stop on the field. In the locker room, he brought leadership to players both young and old, which will no doubt earn him a place in the Patriots Hall of Fame in the near future.
“More than anything, he epitomizes the kind of player this organization has built its success on,” special teams captain Matthew Slater said of Faulk on Monday. “The kind of guy who’s been unselfish over the course of his career, and really stepped up in big moments. He was a huge role player. He became a star as a role player, made plays for this team time after time in big clutch situations. “
Gallery: Kevin Faulk Through The Years
“As a leader, he was second to none. He set an example by the work on the field, and by the way he took young guys under his wing in the locker room,” added Slater. ”I think his faith contributed to that. I think his work ethic, the example that he set, the type of family man that he was. There were many things that contributed to that. Just the type of man he was in general, aside from what he did on the football field.”
Slater shared the Patriots locker room with Faulk for four seasons, and will miss the veteran’s presence.
“That leadership that he provided to this team, it’s hard to duplicate,” said Slater. “Just from that aspect, a guy like that is going to be missed and has been missed around here, but we are fortunate enough to see him around here every so often and giving us encouraging words. It’s always good to see him.”
Slater said Faulk helped him through some rookie struggles in 2008, picking him up at times when he was down.
“For me personally, he’s done a lot to encourage me and contribute to my development as a professional,” said Slater. “So I’m very thankful for that, I’m thankful I got to play with Kevin Faulk.”
Hear Kevin Faulk’s retirement Tuesday morning at 10:30am LIVE from The Hall At Patriot Place on 98.5 The Sports Hub! Following the announcement, Faulk will join Gresh & Zolak, who are broadcasting LIVE from Gillette.