Dillon seeks release, may play elsewhere

Updated: February 24, 2007, 2:11 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Corey Dillon's long-term football future is in question. But his short-term future is apparently not with the New England Patriots.

Dillon's agent, Steve Feldman, told ESPN.com's John Clayton on Friday that he will be talking to other teams about their interest in the veteran running back. Feldman said he and Dillon talked to Patriots coach Bill Belichick about Dillon's role in 2007 and how Dillon doesn't want to be a back getting only seven to 10 carries a game.

That followed a report in The Boston Globe in which Dillon said he would ask the Patriots for his release and that he has contemplated retirement. Clayton reported Dillon has asked for his release and was told it would be granted on or before March 2.

"I think more of my health, how I envision myself five, 10 years down the road," he told the Globe. "I don't want to be broken down, not able to play with my kids."

Elias Says
Corey Dillon
Dillon
The Patriots traded for Corey Dillon in April 2004 and after three seasons in New England it was reported Friday that he will either retire or continue his NFL career with a different team. Dillon's performance and the team's success combined for this legacy: He's the only player in NFL history to lead a team in both rushing yards and total touchdowns in each of his first three seasons with a team -- with that team winning at least one playoff game in each of those three seasons. Elias Says.

He said the prospect of his returning to another team was unlikely, but anything's possible.

"Football is the furthest thing on my mind right now," Dillon said in the Globe story. "I may wake up and feel the itch and decide I still want to shake it, but as of now, I doubt that will happen."

Dillon, who is under contract for the next three seasons with a 2007 salary cap charge of $4.4 million, told the newspaper he has yet to speak with the team.

"I've been blessed and fortunate enough to play 10 years," he said. "I can get up and walk around and be comfortable. That's one of the big determining factors."

Dillon spent the last three seasons with the Patriots after a seven-year stay with the Cincinnati Bengals. He rushed for 812 yards and 13 touchdowns last season and had shared carries with rookie Laurence Maroney.

If he retires, Dillon would leave the game with one Super Bowl title (with the Patriots in 2004), 11,241 rushing yards (14th on the league's all-time list) and 82 touchdowns.

"I gave them what they wanted; I didn't come in and steal money," Dillon told the Globe. "I felt like the money they spent was well earned."

ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton contributed to this report.