May 29, 2018 / 4:20 PM / 10 months ago

Linebacker McClellin prepared to retire due to concussions

Dec 12, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon (30) is tackled for a safety by New England Patriots strong safety Patrick Chung (23), defensive tackle Malcom Brown (90), outside linebacker Shea McClellin (58), and outside linebacker Elandon Roberts (52) during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker Shea McClellin is ready to retire from the NFL and coach high school football at age 28 if the phone doesn’t ring soon.

McClellin, a former first-round pick out of Boise State, told ESPN he did not officially retire from the NFL but is leaning that direction due to the cumulative effect of five documented concussions.

McClellin accepted a position at Mountain View High School in Meridian, Idaho, where he plans to coach linebackers.

“It’s difficult whenever you get an injury that holds you out, when you kind of feel like you’re good and then find out you’re not. It’s always tough,” he said. “I think it was just over time, it wasn’t just one thing. I’ve had five documented concussions, and probably more than that which aren’t documented. It was just residual effects that I couldn’t overcome, which is unfortunate. But sometimes that’s the way it plays out and you just have to deal with it.”

McClellin did not play in 2017 after starting the season on injured reserve. He attempted to return and practiced for two weeks but was never activated. The Patriots released McClellin in March with one year remaining on his contract.

“I’m still staying ready, still working out. I’ve learned to never say never, there’s always a chance that I could still play again, but for now all my focus is on coaching high school,” McClellin said.

The Chicago Bears drafted McClellin in the first round of the 2012 draft. The 19th overall pick joined the Patriots in 2016 and played in 17 total games, playoffs included, on the Super Bowl championship defense.

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