Patriots G Neal intends to hit open market

Any curiosity over whether New England Patriots right guard Stephen Neal will retire should be put to rest.

NealNealInstead, you can start wondering what uniform he'll wear in 2010.

"He's going to be playing," Neal's agent, Neil Cornrich, told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesaday afternoon. "We expect there to be a vibrant free-agent market for his services."

Neal, who will turn 34 next season, earned three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. He has played in 78 games, starting 73, since he joined the Patriots in 2001. He became a starter in 2004, but has played a full season only once.

He managed to play in 12 games last year despite broken ribs.