FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Matt Light #72 of the New England Patriots reacts against the San Diego Chargers in the first half at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Matt Light Starting A New Chapter In His Football Career At ESPN

Longtime Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light conducted a press conference announcing his retirement from the NFL.

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Matt Light Joining ESPN As NFL Talking Head

New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light announced his retirement this spring. The 11-year veteran may have hung up his cleats, but is not leaving the world of professional football. ESPN announced on Thursday that Light will join the sports network as an NFL analyst this season, making his debut on Monday, July 23.

As part of his duties with ESPN, Light will make regular stops on NFL Live, NFL32, SportsCenter and featured contributions to Sunday NFL Countdown. The gig follows a part-time deal with the network in May.

Light expressed his excitement about the new role in a statement released by ESPN:

"I'm really looking forward to joining the ESPN family and getting a chance to see the game from a different side. I'm obviously depending heavily on my rugged good looks and ability to avoid run-on sentences to succeed in this new role."

For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit.

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Patriots' Matt Light Reveals 'Near-Death Experience,' Battle With Crohn's Disease

Longtime New England Patriots left tackle Matt Light announced his retirement during a Monday press conference at the Patriots facility. Light is one of five players who have been to five Super Bowls, and he goes down as one of the most memorable Patriots.

If you didn't already like Light, then this story by Mike Reiss may change your mind. Light revealed to Reiss for the first time that he battles Crohn's disease, which nearly killed him following the Patriots' 2004 Super Bowl season. Light had surgery that, if everything went according to plan, would have removed 13 inches of his intestines. Except the surgery didn't go as planned, Reiss reports.

Instead, there were post-surgery complications. Light didn't eat for a month. His weight dropped from 315 pounds to 260, as his under-the-radar battle with Crohn's disease -- a bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system -- was attacking him with force.

Light used the words "near-death experience" describing the situation.

"That happened in June, and I made it to training camp in the third week [of August], but not without having literally a near-death experience where I had another blockage post-surgery that I wasn't aware of -- all these complications. It's not to tell the story as 'woe is me' -- I could care less about that -- but when you go through something like that and it's that wild of a time ... I always wanted to finish the game of football and go out on my terms and the way I wanted to do it."

It's amazing that the left tackle of a Super Bowl team could go through something like this, and nobody outside of the team knew.

The full story by Reiss is worth your time.

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Matt Light's Retirement Announcement Coming Monday

The news has been known for a while now, but on Monday the New England Patriots will make it official: Matt Light is retiring after 11 seasons in the NFL. The team will hold a press conference to commemorate its long-time starter at left tackle.

The Pats will likely turn to 2011 first-round draft pick Nate Solder to take over protecting Tom Brady's blind side. Light's retirement also means another open spot on the 90-man roster as well as $5 million in cap space to play with. The team did not address the position in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Light played at least 15 games in eight of his 11 seasons, earning four Pro Bowl selections. He also appeared in white spandex for a commercial that one time.

For more on Light and the Patriots, head over to the SB Nation blog Pats Pulpit and check out SBN Boston.

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Matt Light To Retire After 11 Seasons, According To Report

Longtime Patriots left tackle Matt Light plans to retire, according to a report.

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