David Patten, 3-Time Super Bowl Champ With Patriots, Dies at 47

by Suzanne Halliburton

David Patten, who won three Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots, died late Thursday from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident.

David Patten was only 47. The Richland County coroner confirmed his death Friday morning. Patten was home in South Carolina when the accident happened. The coroner said Patten was riding his motorcycle when he crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with a sedan.

David Patten played two stints with the Patriots and he’ll always be known in the Tom Brady history books. After all, Patten caught Brady’s first-ever post-season touchdown pass and it came in the Super Bowl. That happened Feb. 2, 2002. Brady lofted a high pass towards Patten, who caught the ball to give the Patriots a 14-3 lead over the St. Louis Rams. The Patriots won, 20-17, and celebrated the victory at the Louisiana Superdome.

Richard Seymour, who is a South Carolina native and former Patriot, mourned the loss of David Patten on social media. He posted: heartbroken. great man of God… lost for words – David Patten.”

David Patten Went Undrafted Out of College

David Patten went undrafted when he came out of Western Carolina in 1996. Playing in the NFL was like a gift to him. His first professional stint was in the Arena League in the summer of 1996 when he starred for the the Albany Firebirds.

Then in 1997, he made his first NFL team, signing with the New York Giants. He was a kickoff returner on special teams and he saw action as a receiver.

Although he started his career as undrafted free agent, Patten played a dozen seasons in the NFL. He was on the Patriots roster between 2001-04 and in 2010. He also spent time with the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns, Washington and New Orleans Saints. In 2010, he resigned with the Patriots, then retired in late July.

In 2001, he found himself starting for the Patriots. On Oct. 20, 2001 against Indianapolis, he became the eighth player in NFL history to run, catch and throw for a touchdown in the same game. It earned him AFC offensive player of the week honors.

In his career, he caught 324 passes for 4,175 yards and 24 touchdowns. Yet he’ll always be known for the one he caught in the Super Bowl against the Rams. It helped the whole team to a Super Bowl ring and the victory represented Tom Brady’s first in a string that’s now reached seven.

“In my mind when I saw the ball, when I came out of the up portion of the out-and-up route, I was like ‘just put your foot in the ground and jump and see if you can get it,’” Patten told PrimeTimeSportsTalk.com. of the catch. “It’s like my body just kept going up and when it hit my hands, I remember saying, ‘Man, just hold on when you hit the ground.’ ”