FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - New England Patriots quarterback Doug Flutie announced his retirement today after 21 seasons in professional football. The former Boston College signal caller ends his illustrious career as a member of his hometown Patriots, for which he played from 1987-89 before returning for his final season in 2005.
Flutie, 43, accounted for 64,938 yards of total offense in his professional career, compiling 58,179 passing yards and 6,759 rushing yards while playing in the NFL (1986-89, 1998-2005), USFL (1985) and CFL (1990-97). The 1984 Heisman Trophy winner played in 92 NFL games with 66 starts and compiled a record of 38-28 (.576) as a starter, including a 23-9 (.719) mark in home games. His NFL statistics include 2,151 attempts with 1,177 completions (54.7 percent) for 14,715 yards and 86 touchdowns.
Flutie's 12-year NFL tenure included stints with Chicago (1986-87), Buffalo (1998-2000), San Diego (2001-04) and New England (1987-89, 2005). His first professional experience came with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in 1985. Flutie also spent eight seasons (1990-97) in the Canadian Football League, where he helped his teams win three Grey Cup titles and was named the league's most outstanding player a CFL-record six times. He was selected as the most valuable player in all three of his teams' Grey Cup victories. His CFL tenure included stints with the B.C. Lions (1990-91), Calgary Stampeders (1992-95) and Toronto Argonauts (1996-97).
Flutie ended his career as a member of the Patriots, serving as the team's backup quarterback in 2005. In his final play as a professional football player, he made history by successfully executing the NFL's first drop kick since 1941 when he booted an extra point against the Miami Dolphins in the 2005 regular season finale on Jan. 1, 2006.
The former Natick (Mass.) High School star was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round (285th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft following a Boston College career that saw him graduate as the NCAA's all-time passing yardage leader with 10,579 yards. He spent the 1985 season on the Rams' developmental squad and played in 15 games in the USFL before his NFL rights were traded from Los Angeles to Chicago midway through the 1986 season. Flutie signed with the Bears on Oct. 21, 1986 and played in five games with Chicago before being traded to the Patriots on Oct. 13, 1987 in exchange for an eighth-round selection in the 1988 NFL Draft.
The 5-foot-10-inch, 180-pound signal caller's first tenure with the Patriots (1987-89) was highlighted by a 1988 season during which he started nine games, including a stretch of six wins in an eight-game span, earning him the team's "unsung hero" award. After starting three games for New England in 1989, Flutie joined the CFL, where he spent the next eight seasons as the league's most dominant player.
He returned to the NFL in 1998 with the Buffalo Bills and earned a Pro Bowl selection in addition to Comeback Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly. Flutie set an NFL career high with 20 touchdowns while making just 10 starts that season. In the two seasons in which he was Buffalo's primary starter (1998-99), he led the Bills to the playoffs twice. Flutie joined the San Diego Chargers as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2001 season and started all 16 games that year, setting NFL career highs with 3,464 yards and 294 completions. For three seasons (2002-04), Flutie served primarily as Drew Brees' backup, playing in 10 games with six starts over that span, with his final start coming in the 2004 season finale.