FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light announced his retirement today, closing his 11-year career as one of the most productive players in the team's history. On February 5, 2012, he tied an NFL record when he started in his fifth Super Bowl, joining teammate Tom Brady along with Cornelius Bennett, John Elway and Charles Haley as the only other players to accomplish the feat. In 2009, he was recognized as one of the best players in franchise history when he was named to the Patriots' 50th Anniversary Team.
"For the past 11 seasons, Matt's many accomplishments, both on and off the field, made him the consummate Patriot," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "His contributions helped the Patriots become champions on the field and in the community. For more than a decade, Matt anchored the offensive line and protected Tom Brady's blind side, delivering three Super Bowl titles and five conference championships during his tenure. And as proud as I am of Matt's many contributions to those championship teams, I truly believe that Light's lasting legacy will be measured by the many positive things he has done to help others in the community. His investment in the lives of children will pay dividends for generations to come. Matt will always be a member of the Patriots family and we wish him and his family all the best in the future."
Light, 33, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The Purdue product spent his entire 11-year NFL career with the Patriots. Light leaves the football field having played a major role in leading the Patriots to 11 consecutive seasons with a winning record, nine division championships, five conference titles and three Super Bowls.
Light earned three Pro Bowl honors following the 2006, 2007 and 2010 seasons. He played in 175 regular season games with 173 starts including all 20 postseason games and helped the Patriots' offense finish in the top 10 seven times. Light earned Pro Bowl honors, Associated Press All-Pro first-team and Pro Football Weekly All-NFL in 2007 after helping New England finish first in total offense with an NFL record of 589 total points and 75 touchdowns.
Beyond his impressive on-field accomplishments, Light was instrumental in his work in the community and was the recipient of numerous awards for his efforts. He founded "The Light Foundation" in 2002, an organization that is dedicated to empowering young people through grants, scholarships and outdoor activities. In 2005, he earned the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award, presented annually to a player in recognition of his contributions both on the field and in the community.