Pees: 'I was not fired'

Dean Pees has denied a report the New England Patriots have fired him, saying he is leaving the club for personal reasons and because his contract is about to expire.

Boston Herald reporter Ian R. Rapoport tracked Pees down by phone and posted the comments on his blog.

"I was not fired," Pees told Rapoport. "The truth is, my contract is up in two weeks, and I chose not to return for personal reasons.

"The Patriots treated me very well. I've enjoyed my time here. It’s been six wonderful years. But my contract is up. I’m looking at future endeavors. I'm going into free agency."