NFL

Former New England Patriots WR David Patten dies tragically in motorcycle accident

A critical part of the 'dynasty' team, Patten's catch delivered their historic first Super Bowl title.

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Former New England Patriots WR David Patten dies tragically in motorcycle accident
AL MESSERSCHMIDT AFP

Valued by many for being the man he was and not just the player, David Patten has tragically passed away.

A Fatal Accident

One of the the most constant names on the team sheet during the New England Patriots' early dynasty years and the winner of three Super Bowl titles, former NFL wide receiver David Patten died Thursday at the age of 47 in South Carolina. According to the NFL, Patten was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident at approximately 9:45 p.m Thursday night at an intersection near Columbia, South Carolina.

David Patten Remembered

Outpourings of grief and support were quick to come from around the NFL and beyond. "It breaks my heart to hear of David's tragic passing at such a young age," stated Bill Belichick, Patten's coach with the Patriots. "I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions."

"I especially appreciate David for his professional journey. As much as anyone, David epitomized the unheralded, self-made player who defied enormous odds to not only earn a job in the NFL but to become a key player on multiple championship teams. I can speak for anyone who had the pleasure to be around David that his work ethic, positive energy and character were elite. My deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones."

Gone to soon

Close friend and business associate, Sam Gordon who incidentally held Patten as a client in his management firm stated "We are all very heartbroken, he was a man of God. He had his own ministry. He loved New England very much." "If there is one thing I want people to know about David, it's that as great a player he was, he was a better man," Gordon also added that he had contact with Patten's wife on Friday morning.

Who was Patten the player?

Patten himself, who played for five teams across a 12-year NFL career will undoubtedly be best remembered for his four seasons with the Patriots from 2001 to 2004. He famously caught the only offensive touchdown for the Patriots during their first Super Bowl win, in the 2001 season when facing the Rams, hauling in a 8-yard pass from a then fledgling Tom Brady to give New England a 14-3 lead just before halftime. During his time with the Patriots he posted 44 starts in 54 regular-season games as he made 165 catches for 2,513 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Patten also played for the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints and Washington. He retired in 2008 finishing his career with 324 receptions for 4,715 yards and 24 touchdowns. Patten would later describe his time with the New England Patriots as the highlight of his career.