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Patriots QB Flutie considering retirement

BOSTON (May 1, 2006) -- With the NFL draft over, 43-year-old Doug Flutie is expected to announce this week if he will end a career that included a Heisman Trophy and took him through three pro football leagues.

"I'm just going to take my time to make my decision," Flutie said May 1, and indicated he would not want to play for a team other than the New England Patriots. "I love being home."

Flutie's agent, Kristen Kuliga, said the former Boston College star who lives in Natick expected him to decide later this week.

Flutie, a backup quarterback for the Patriots last season, wanted to wait until the draft ended before deciding, she said in a telephone interview.

Flutie said he's spoken to many teams, as well as to networks about broadcasting.

"I still have that passion but you've got to make that decision if you can stay healthy through the year," Flutie said at an appearance at a Boston high school where he demonstrated drop kicks, like the one he made for an extra point last season.

Flutie played sparingly in five games last season and completed 5 of 10 passes for 29 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. After winning the Heisman at Boston College in 1984, he played in the USFL, the Canadian Football League and with Buffalo, Chicago, San Diego and New England in the NFL.

Flutie won the CFL's most outstanding player award six times and the league's Grey Cup title game three times then returned to the NFL in 1998 with Buffalo. In his last four seasons, the first three of them with the Chargers, he played in a total of 15 games.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick referred questions to Flutie.

Asked if there was a place for Flutie with the Patriots, Belichick said after the draft, "You'd have to talk to Doug about what Doug's future is."

Tom Brady, Matt Cassel, a seventh-round draft pick last year from Southern California, and Todd Mortensen are the only signed quarterbacks on the Patriots roster.

"Matt is improving," Belichick said. "I think we saw that last year."

Flutie, who stands about 5-feet-10, left BC as the school's all-time leader in passing yards with 10,579. An outstanding scrambler, he is most remembered for his 48-yard touchdown pass to Gerard Phelan on the final play that gave BC a 47-45 upset win at Miami on Nov. 23, 1984.

He made another memorable play last Jan. 1 in the Patriots last game of the season when he converted the first dropkick extra point in the NFL since the 1941 title game. That cut Miami's lead to 28-20 and the Dolphins won 28-26.

"If that ends up being my last play, it wouldn't be bad," Flutie said after the game.

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round in 1985 but chose to play for the USFL's New Jersey Generals, owned by Donald Trump.

He played five games for Chicago the next two seasons and 17 for New England from 1987 to 1989 before spending the next eight seasons in the CFL with British Columbia, Calgary and Toronto.

He joined Buffalo in 1998 where he saw his most action in the NFL, playing 39 games over three years. He started all 16 games for San Diego in 2001 then spent the next three years as backup to Drew Brees. In April 2005, Flutie signed with his hometown Patriots for his 21st season in pro football.

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