Kevin Faulk announces retirement

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Former New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk announced his retirement Tuesday in a ceremony at Gillette Stadium attended by his coaches and teammates.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick lauded Faulk for his 13-year career in New England, calling him and former Patriots receiver Troy Brown the "gold standard of teamwork, commitment, performance and winning."

Belichick called Faulk "the ultimate team player," noting how in addition to being the franchise's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage, he is also the record holder in game balls, with "60-something."

"The bigger the situation or the play, the more you could count on him," Belichick said.

In a highlight video of Faulk's career, quarterback Tom Brady said that no player "was more clutch" than Faulk.

Faulk thanked a wide range of individuals for contributing to his career and became emotional when discussing the impact of his mother, who died in 2004. He ended his speech by showing the crowd his three Super Bowl championship rings.

"I can't even begin to think about where I was, or what I would have been doing, without accomplishing this," Faulk said. "This is why we do it."

"Kevin Faulk helped define the way an entire generation of Patriots fans have come to view and appreciate our brand of football," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He worked so hard to get better every year. He was always one of the first to arrive in the building and among the last to leave.

"His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike. He retires a Patriot whose career will always be celebrated for helping deliver three Super Bowl championships to New England."

Current players in attendance included receiver Deion Branch, linebacker Jerod Mayo and cornerback Devin McCourty. Former players at the ceremony were Brown, running back Sammy Morris and linebacker Matt Chatham.

Mike Rodak covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.