New England Patriots Running Back James White Announces NFL Retirement After 8 Seasons

by Nick Geddes

New England Patriots running back James White announced his retirement from the NFL on Thursday after playing eight seasons in the league.

White was aiming to make his way back after undergoing hip surgery last September, which required him to miss a majority of the 2021 season. The Patriots, however, listed him on the team’s physically unable to perform list ahead of training camp.

White, 30, made the announcement on Twitter – thanking the Patriots’ organization and fans.

“Thank you to Mr. [Robert] Kraft, Coach [Bill] Belichick, and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream,” White wrote. “To be able to play my entire career for one franchise, in front of the best fans in the NFL, has been a tremendous blessing and honor.”

James White Remembered as a Key Piece to the Patriots’ Dynasty

The Patriots selected White in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin. He would spend the entirety of his career in New England, winning three Super Bowls. Regarded as one of the finest receiving backs in the game, White is a member of the Patriots’ 2010s All-Decade Team.

His crowning moment as a player came in Super Bowl LI in 2017. Who could forget that night in Houston, when New England rallied back from a 28-3 deficit to win? Quarterback Tom Brady will forever be credited with the leading the comeback, although White played a huge part.

White hauled in 14 receptions for 110 yards and a score. He added two scores on the ground, including the game-winner in overtime from two yards out.

In a statement, head coach Bill Belichick described White as one of best team players he’s ever coached.

“James defines the term consummate professional,” Belichick said. “His dependability, consistency, unselfishness and performance under pressure are elite. Combining great intelligence, quickness and elusiveness, James was a perfect fit for our pass offense. While soft spoken, he brought exceptional leadership and competitive toughness to the team. He was a multi-year team captain and one of the most respected, best team players I have ever coached.”

White’s career ends with 381 receptions for 3,278 yards and 25 touchdowns. As a runner, he racked up 1,278 yards on 319 carries with 11 touchdowns.

White’s retirement clears up the logjam in the Patriots’ running back room. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson remain atop the depth chart, with Ty Montgomery and Pierre Strong Jr. behind. Montgomery and Strong Jr. are lauded for their pass-catching abilities and will likely play in the role White did for nearly a decade.