May 3, 2013; Foxboro, MA USA; New England Patriots rookie Armond Armstead of Southern California talks with the media during rookie minicamp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots defensive lineman Armond Armstead retires


Unrealized potential is disappointing — sometimes tragic. Defensive lineman Armond Amrstead has announced his retirement without playing a down of NFL football.

When Armstead signed with the Patriots, it was as if they had just scored another first-round selection. Armstead, who was relegated to the Canadian Football League in 2012 due to health concerns, was sought after by a few teams. He was thought to be an impact player that could step on the field and perform immediately. The Patriots nabbed him in a competitive market.

During his time in CFL, he was an All-Star. Coming out of USC, he was considered a first-round talent — if not for his health complications. He suffered a heart attack at USC and eventually sued the school for it. During his first season in the NFL with the Patriots in 2013, he spent all his time on injured reserve with an infection.

It seems that his heart has caused his early retirement.

According to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, Armstead was on the field at the start OTAs but went unseen in the final weeks. At one point last season, Bill Belichick suggested Armstead would be in rotation as a Top-3 defensive tackle on the team. Now he’s a bit more reserved about the 23-year-old retiree.

“It has been a pleasure being around Armond, as he gave us everything he could to play for us. Armond worked extremely hard since joining us last February,” Belichick said in a statement. “He’s had a lot of adversity personally that he’s had to deal with — unusual compared to most other players — but he’s always had a great attitude, worked hard, and really did everything we asked him to do. While it is unfortunate he will not be able to play football, Armond is an outstanding young man who has a very bright future in whatever path he chooses.”

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Tags: New England Patriots