David Harris, linebacker for New York Jets and New England Patriots, retires


Longtime middle linebacker David Harris, a defensive pillar for the New York Jets who signed with the rival New England Patriots last offseason, is calling it a career.

“After 11 years of having played the greatest team sport at its highest level, it’s now time for me to announce my retirement from the NFL,” Harris said in a statement on his agency’s Twitter account.

Harris, 34, unceremoniously released by the Jets last June, signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Patriots, hoping to win a Super Bowl ring.

That didn’t happen, and Harris played a smaller-than-expected role. He appeared in only 10 games (177 defensive snaps) and was inactive during the team’s run to Super Bowl LII.

Harris was due to count $2.75 million against the Patriots’ cap, but his retirement will save them $2.1 million.

He will be remembered for his decade with the Jets, 2007 to 2016. Drafted out of Michigan in the second round, he played 154 games and finished as the franchise’s second-leading tackler.

Harris never made the Pro Bowl, but he was regarded by coaches and teammates as the backbone of a once-formidable defense. In 2009, the Jets ranked No. 1 in total defense and fewest points allowed.

Harris said he was “blindsided” when he was released last offseason amid the team’s massive roster purge. Despite the awkward ending, he’s considered a strong candidate for the team’s Ring Of Honor.

Former Patriots teammate Kyle Van Noy tweeted his support for Harris.

Van Noy said Harris “should already have his Green coat! Nobody played a decade like him of a true every down linebacker! Impressive player but even a better person!”

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