FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Former Patriots wide receiver Troy Brown announced his retirement from football in a press conference at Gillette Stadium this morning.
Brown, 36, spent his entire 15-season NFL career with the Patriots (1993-2007) after being drafted by the team in the eighth round (198th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10-inch, 196-pound receiver, punt returner and defensive back retires as the Patriots' all-time leading receiver with 557 career receptions and is also the team's all-time leading punt returner with 252 career returns. He places second in the team's record book with 6,366 career receiving yards and is tied for the franchise record with three punt returns for touchdowns. Brown played in 192 games, placing him fourth on the franchise's all-time games played list, and his 15 seasons with the franchise tie Julius Adams for the second-longest tenure in a Patriots uniform behind Steve Grogan's franchise-record 16 seasons. Brown was a five-time co-captain for the club (2002-06) and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2001. In 2004, he added defense to his resume as he saw significant action in the defensive backfield and finished second on the team with three interceptions. Brown's significant contributions in all three phases of the game - offense, defense and special teams - made him one of the most versatile and beloved players in the history of the Patriots franchise.
"Troy Brown to me is the consummate Patriot because of what he did on the field, the way he conducted himself off the field and the fact that he always put team first." said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft.
"It has truly been an honor and a privilege to coach Troy," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "I think Troy, as I have talked about with our players, is the consummate professional."
"I will always be a Patriot, just no longer in uniform," said Troy Brown. "I want to thank Mr. Kraft and his family for allowing me to not just be a part of their football team but to be a part of their family also."
The Blackville, S.C. native was a key contributor to each of the Patriots' three Super Bowl runs. In 2001, Brown led the team with 18 postseason receptions as New England won its first world championship in Super Bowl XXXVI. In the championship game against the St. Louis Rams, Brown led the team with six receptions and 89 yards, including a key 23-yard grab on the game-winning drive. Two years later, he tied for the team lead with 17 playoff receptions as the Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVIII over Carolina. He was again a key contributor in that game, finishing second on the team with eight receptions, including three grabs on the game-winning drive. In 2004, Brown played on offense, defense and special teams in all three playoff games, recording a total of five receptions and six tackles during New England's Super Bowl XXXIX title run.
The Marshall University product was named to the Pro Bowl in 2001, a season in which he set what was then the Patriots' single-season franchise record with 101 receptions. That year, he recorded 1,199 receiving yards, which at the time placed him second on the team's single-season list. He followed up his record-setting campaign with a 97-catch season in 2002, a mark that ranked second in team history at the time. Also that year, he recorded a team-record 16 catches in a game against Kansas City at Gillette Stadium (9/22/02).
In 2004, Brown earned accolades for his play on offense, defense and special teams, showing a level of versatility unmatched in recent NFL history. After injuries had taken a toll on the Patriots' secondary, Brown pitched in as the team's nickel back for the final nine games of the regular season and for all three of the Patriots' postseason contests as New England won Super Bowl XXXIX. He finished second on the team with three interceptions in the 2004 regular season and matched his reception total with 17 tackles on defense.
In November 2006, Brown passed Stanley Morgan for first place on the Patriots' all-time receptions list with a first down catch along the sideline in a game against the Indianapolis Colts. In the 2006 divisional playoffs, Brown continued his knack for making big plays, forcing a key fumble in the Patriots' 24-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers. Following a Marlon McCree interception in the fourth quarter that appeared to seal the game for San Diego, Brown stripped the football from McCree and allowed Reche Caldwell to recover the loose ball and return possession to the Patriots.
Brown's career statistics include 192 games played (with 70 starts), 557 receptions for 6,366 yards and 31 touchdowns, 252 punt returns for 2,625 yards and three touchdowns, 87 kickoff returns for 1,862 yards, 30 rushes for 178 yards, 18 defensive tackles (16 solo), three interceptions and five passes defensed.
The Patriots announced that their game against the New York Jets on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 will be Troy Brown Night at Gillette Stadium, with events honoring Brown and his significant accomplishments with the franchise.