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Patriots' Rodney Harrison Retires, Likely Headed to NBC Broadcast Booth

Jun 3, 2009 – 9:15 AM
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Dan Graziano

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New England's Rodney Harrison has announced his retirement from football and will join NBC's NFL broadcast crew.New England's Rodney Harrison this morning announced his retirement from the NFL after 15 seasons. A two-time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots, Harrison is the only player in NFL history with more than 30 sacks and 30 interceptions.

"I had to contemplate a lot of different feelings, a lot of different emotions," Harrison said in a conference call. "But I feel like I've done everything I could possibly do on the field and have nothing left to prove."

Harrison didn't immediately announce his future plans, but it's pretty clear he will begin a career as a broadcaster with NBC. He worked for NBC during the network's Super Bowl coverage this year, and NBC is holding its own conference call today at noon.

"What's next for me is more time with my family, more golf and just really being open to future opportunities that might come my way," Harrison said. "Right now I'm going to just spend some time with Rodney and with my family and just relax."

The hard-hitting Harrison wasn't always the model of ideal behavior. He racked up more than $200,000 in fines, including $111,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jerry Rice that also earned him a one-game suspension in 2002.

He also was suspended four games in 2007 for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Yet whereas Hall of Fame-caliber baseball players such as Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez have seen or could see their legacies tainted by their own connection to performance-enhancing drugs, Harrison was actually asked during this morning's conference call whether he thought he'd someday be elected to football's Hall of Fame. He said, correctly, that it wasn't for him to decide.

"People have called me a dirty player," Harrison said. "I'm a passionate player. I wouldn't call it dirty at all. I care for the players. I respect everything they do. But I also understand this is not volleyball. This is a hard game, a passionate game, and when you hit somebody in the mouth, they're not going to be your friend."

Got to give him this, at least. He sounds like he's going to make a heck of a broadcaster.
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