Patriots WR Hawkins retires, pledges brain to research

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Receiver Andrew Hawkins says he is retiring from the NFL and donating his brain to research.

The six-year NFL veteran signed with the New England Patriots in May as a free agent. But he said in a video on uninterrupted.com that his body isn’t responding as he prepared for training camp.

The Concussion Foundation says Hawkins has pledged his brain for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The degenerative disease is known to cause cognitive and behavioral problems in athletes, members of the military and others who sustained repeated head trauma.

Related Content: CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased NFL players

The 31-year-old undrafted free agent out of Toledo played three seasons each with the Bengals and Browns. In 2014 he had career highs of 63 catches and 824 yards. He also helped the Montreal Alouettes win back-to-back Grey Cup championships in the Canadian Football League.

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