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Free Agent Guard Leaves Patriots

July 29, 2002

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SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) _ Offensive guard Rich Tylski retired Monday after just a few practices with the New England Patriots, who signed him as a free agent in the offseason.

``He’s been a starter for the last six years and he’s been on some real good football teams,″ coach Bill Belichick said. ``I just think that he felt that this was the right thing to do.″

Starting guards Mike Compton and Joe Andruzzi are back, but Tylski would have been an experienced substitute if he didn’t supplant one of them.

Tylski, 31, started 26 games with Pittsburgh the last two years and 36 with Jacksonville the four previous seasons. He originally signed as a rookie free agent with the Patriots in 1994 and moved to Jacksonville the next season.

Belichick said he spoke with Tylski on Sunday night.

``I think Rich just felt like he wasn’t playing at a level he thought he should be playing at and that’s a little different from him feeling that he didn’t want to play football,″ Belichick said.

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