Conversations with your boss can be difficult, especially if they involve a major career decision.
Former New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung, who retired this off-season after spending 10 of his 11 NFL seasons in Foxboro, told ESPN's Mike Reiss that notifying his boss, coach Bill Belichick, of his decision to call it quits was "probably the hardest conversation I've had in a while."
"I respect him. He respects me. It's more than player to coach with me and Bill," Chung told Reiss. "I felt like I was letting him down, but it was something I had to do for my family and me."
Chung, who was among a league-high eight Patriots players to opt out of the 2020 season, has become involved with another high-contact sport early in his retirement: rugby. The 33-year-old Chung has become a part owner of the New England Free Jacks, who play Major League Rugby. The team plays their home games out of Union Point Stadium in Weymouth, Mass.
"It's constant chaos," Chung noted to Reiss. "You try to rip each other's head off, and then have a beer after. I like that."
Chung has still been keeping an eye on his former employer, most notably his heir apparent in the secondary in second-year safety Kyle Dugger. Chung said that Dugger called him for his blessing to switch his jersey number from 35 to 23, which Chung wore during his second stint in New England from 2014-19.
"That's huge respect. A lot of people don't have to ask: If it's open, take it. For him to call and ask, when he didn't have to, I appreciated that," Chung said.