FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of former Patriots wide receiver David Patten. Patten passed away on September 2 at the age of 47.
"I am heartbroken by the news of David's passing," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "He was a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his own ministry. David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher. In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl Champion. His touchdown reception in the AFC Championship game at Pittsburgh propelled the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXVI and I'll never forget his remarkable catch in the back of the end zone in that game. It was our only offensive touchdown in the Super Bowl and secured our first championship in franchise history. Our sincerest sympathies are with his wife, Galiena, his family and all who are mourning David's tragic and untimely death."
"It breaks my heart to hear of David's tragic passing at such a young age," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "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."
Patten played in 54 regular season games with 44 starts for the Patriots from 2001-04 and also played in six postseasons games with three starts during his tenure in New England. He caught 165 passes for 2,513 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season and added 15 receptions for 174 yards with two touchdowns in the postseason for the Patriots. The best statistical year in his 12 NFL seasons was in 2004 with New England when he registered 800 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Patten was on the receiving end of the second longest pass play in Patriots history, a 91-yard touchdown reception from Tom Brady at Indianapolis on Oct. 21, 2001. In that game, Patten had a career-best performance, as he became the sixth player since 1960 – and the first since Walter Payton (1979) – to rush for a touchdown, catch a touchdown pass and pass for a touchdown in the same game.
Patten was a veteran of 12 NFL seasons with the New York Giants (1997-99), Cleveland (2000), New England (2001-04), Washington (2005-06) and New Orleans (2007-08). Patten went to training camp with Cleveland in 2009, but was waived prior to the start of the regular season and spent the year out of football. He signed with New England in the 2010 offseason but retired at the end of July.
The 5-foot-10 inch, 190-pound wide receiver originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent for the New York Giants in 1997 out of Western Carolina. Patten has played in 147 regular season games with 73 starts and has recorded 324 receptions for 4,715 yards with 24 touchdowns. He has also returned 111 kicks for 2,273 yards with one touchdown.