Former Miami Dolphins Rob Ninkovich ends 11 year career
By Brian Miller
Former Miami Dolphins and now former New England Patriot Rob Ninkovich has finally ended his 11 year NFL career as he announced his retirement today.
Ninkovich joined the NFL in 2006 as a 5th round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints. His road to success however almost never happened. After signing a three year deal with the Saints, Ninkovich suffered a knee injury and was placed on IR. The following July he injured his knee again and missed the pre-season. The Saints released him just prior to the season starting.
Miami claimed him off waivers where he was active for four games of the 2007 season. In 2008 the Dolphins tried to convert to an outside linebacker but ultimately chose to waive him and then re-sign him to their practice squad. In November he was activated and played in one game but did not register a tackle. He was cut the following day to make room for LB Erik Walden. He cleared waivers and was re-signed to the practice squad but in December he was signed off the practice squad by the Saints.
His second time in New Orleans didn’t last much longer than the first as he was released in July of 2009. The Patriots signed him in August and he made the 53 man roster but played more of a reserve role. In 2010 he started 10 games and in 2011 he became a full-time starter.
Ninkovich was stellar on special teams and was versatile linebacker in New England. At today’s press conference announcing his retirement, his team mates left practice to join the media contingent in the press room. The players were joined by the coaches and owner Bob Kraft.
Ninkovich finishes an impressive career with two Super Bowl rings and another Super Bowl that was a loss. It was a long road for a player who didn’t receive the coaching he needed early on. Thank God he is finally out of Miami’s hair. Now if they would just let Brady and Belichick retire.