Former New England Patriots broad recipient Malcolm Mitchell announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday.

Mitchell, 26, made the statement at the University of Georgia’s TEDxUGA event. The former University of Georgia star was a fourth-round choice of the Patriots at the 2016 draft.

Back in January, he told ESPN’s Mike Reiss that he was not giving up hope of an NFL return despite a lingering knee injury along with having to endure 10 surgeries.

Mitchell has never played since his rookie season in 2016 when he played an instrumental role in the Patriots’ comeback against a 28-3 deficit in superbowl LI, together with five catches for 63 yards in the fourth quarter of the game.

He played in 16 matches as a beginner (including playoffs) and totaled 39 receptions for 476 yards and 4 touchdowns. Because of the ongoing knee problems, ” he spent the full 20 17 season on injured reserve and was released last August.

A native of Valdosta, Georgia, who is an author of children’s novels, he has continued to be an advocate for the importance of reading.

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