David Patten, a former NFL wide receiver who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots in the 2000s, died following a collision while riding a motorcycle Thursday night. He was 47.
ESPN reports the fatal crash is still under investigation by the highway patrol and the coroner. According to South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Nick Pye, Patten crossed a median into the opposing lane and hit a sedan.
“I am heartbroken by the news of David’s passing,” Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. “He was a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his own ministry. 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.”
Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said in a statement: “It breaks my heart to hear of David’s tragic passing at such a young age. I am grateful to have coached David. 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.”
A 12-year NFL veteran, Patten played for five teams (Giants, Browns, Patriots, Redskins, Saints), finishing his career with 324 catches for 4,715 yards and 24 touchdowns. His biggest impact came in New England, where he was a starting wide receiver on three of Brady & Co.’s Super Bowl-winning teams (2001, 2003, 2004).