BOSTON (CBS) — Longtime Patriots safety Patrick Chung is calling it a career.

The 33-year-old announced on his Instagram page on Thursday that he is retiring from football.

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“I’m in tears writing this but I’ve decided to hang up the cleats,” Chung wrote. “Bill, Mr. Kraft (mean mug) thank you for giving me the opportunity to play for your team for 11 years. I love you.”

Chung opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. He was drafted by the Patriots with the 34th overall pick in the 2009 draft. He left the organization in 2013, spending one season with the Philadelphia Eagles, before returning to New England, where he spent the next six seasons.

Chung won Super Bowls with the Patriots in 2014, 2016, and 2018. Bill Belichick often spoke highly about the toughness of Chung, who averaged 15 games per season from 2014-19 despite his physical playing style.

“Bill for teaching me life on and off the field, I will not forget that,” Chung wrote in his message. “To my teammates, trainers, Eq team, video guys, meal room employees, janitors, etc. I love you guys and ladies. Thank you for being the rock to the organization. For clearning up, feeding, taking care of me for 11 years. You will forever be family. But it’s time to start a new life. Patriot until I die!!! Love you all.”

Chung finishes his career with 778 total tackles, with 4.5 sacks, 11 interceptions, two forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and one defensive touchdown.

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Chung was selected as a Patriots team captain in 2018, and he also was named to the Patriots’ All-2010s team at safety.

CBSBoston.com Staff