FOXBORO -- Matt Light's rumored retirement was made official this morning. Robert Kraft gave an introduction, Bill Belichick broke out his special-occasion congeniality, and Light gave a glowing, gracious address before taking questions.
The first question was so elementary but important, it was mind-boggling: Why retire when his body is still cooperating?
"I've got a daughter that's 10 and I've got two boys that are knuckleheads," Light said with a smile. "They need a lot of guidance and a lot more time. One of these things that was apparent over the last few seasons was it takes a lot longer to recover the older you get. It took a lot to give more than a hug and a 'Good morning' to my family."
Light turns 33 in June. He leaves the game with three Super Bowl rings, but perhaps more importantly, his health. It seems that's no small part of why Light said goodbye with a smile on his face -- because he's walking away "upright and feeling good."
One gets the sense it provided him peace; no tears blurred Light's vision Monday.
"To be quite honest with you, I really had this sense of being grateful for the experience," he said. "I remember 2011, this past season, there was a different mindset. Maybe that's why I enjoyed some success out there. I really just felt like I am blessed to be a part of this. It made this season so memorable, so fun, for me, when I finally closed this chapter, I am truly grateful.
"When you know it's your time, you just know."
President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office.
Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president.
"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.
"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."
Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition.
"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."
FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.
Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign.
Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown.
The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player.
Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.
Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.