February 17, 2016 / 5:13 AM / 3 years ago

Patriots LB Mayo announces retirement

File photo of New England Patriots Jerod Mayo speaks to reporters before training at the Oval Cricket Ground ahead of their NFL game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London October October 23, 2009. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

(Reuters) - New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo announced on Tuesday he is retiring after eight seasons in the NFL.

Mayo, who turns 30 next week, spent his entire career in New England but was not expected to be retained by the team due to his large contract and a signing bonus due next month.

Mayo, writing on his Instagram account, said he and his wife were grateful for their time with the Patriots.

“After a lot of thought Chantel and I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude for what we consider a life changing event ... that of becoming a New England Patriot for the past eight years,” wrote Mayo. “Be sure that the Pats memories will always hold a special place in our hearts.” New England drafted Mayo in 2008 and he won the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award that season. He made two Pro Bowls but battled injuries the last few seasons and was sidelined when the Patriots captured the Super Bowl in 2015.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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