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Report: Bruschi to leave on his terms Monday

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
One of the most popular players in New England Patriots history has reached the end of the line.

Inside linebacker Tedy Bruschi reportedly will announce his retirement Monday. The news was first mentioned by NBC broadcaster Al Michaels during the "Sunday Night Football" telecast from Denver.

The Patriots have scheduled a news conference for 10:45 a.m. Monday at Gillette Stadium for "an important player announcement." No details about the player were provided.

Bruschi has played 13 seasons, all with the Patriots.

He will be best remembered for his inspirational return after suffering a stroke in February 2005, a few weeks after winning his third Super Bowl and playing in his only Pro Bowl.

Retirement would ensure Bruschi leaves the game on his own terms. There has been talk in New England he might not make the final roster this year.

Head coach Bill Belichick reminded us Sunday that nobody is guaranteed a spot on the team by cutting last year's primary backup quarterback, Kevin O'Connell, the 94th overall pick in last year's draft.

Bruschi was surpassed on the Patriots' depth chart by Gary Guyton and had been playing with the Patriots' second team defense. He doesn't offer much special-teams value.

The Patriots are moving away from their 3-4 base defense and expect to use a 4-3 more often. They won't need as many linebackers anymore.