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Patriots OL Neal retires after 10-year career

CBSSports.com wire reports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots offensive lineman Stephen Neal, who wrestled in college but didn't play football, is retiring after a 10-year NFL career.

A two-time NCAA wrestling champion at Cal State-Bakersfield, Neal won the Dan Hodge Award that is known as the Heisman Trophy of collegiate wrestling.

He signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent in 2001 and, after being released, re-signed and injured, finally broke into the starting lineup for good in 2004 when the Patriots won the Super Bowl for the third time in four years.

In 2011, Neal started the first eight games of the season before being placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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