Patriots' three-time Super Bowl champion White announces retirement

·3-min read

James White, a member of three Super Bowl champion teams with the New England Patriots, announced his retirement after eight NFL seasons Thursday.

White, who set a Super Bowl record with 14 receptions and scored the winning touchdown in New England’s memorable overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51, has been battling a hip injury that limited him to three games in 2021. The veteran running back has been on the physically unable to perform list during training camp.

The 30-year-old spent his entire career with New England after being selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft.

"It has been an honour to represent my family, my teammates and the people of New England as a Patriot!," White wrote in an Instagram post.

"Thank you to [team owner] Mr. [Robert] Kraft, Coach [Bill] Belichick and the entire Patriots organisation for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream. To be able to play my entire career with one franchise, in front of the best fans in the NFL, has been a tremendous blessing and honour.

"To say that Foxboro will always hold a place in my heart is an understatement. It's been the most significant chapter of my adulthood; my kids were born here; it’s the place we know best as adults and where I have grown and created my family."

White established himself as one of the NFL's top pass-catching running backs during his time in New England and further cemented himself in the franchise’s lore with his performance in the 2016 season title game. The Wisconsin product totalled 110 yards on 14 receptions and tied a Super Bowl record with three touchdowns to help the Patriots overcome a 28-3 deficit and defeat the Falcons 34-28 in the only Super Bowl decided in overtime.

White later set franchise season records for receptions (87) and receiving yards (751) for a running back in 2018, the season the Patriots capped with a win over the Los Angeles Rams for their sixth Super Bowl win under coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady.

The Patriots named White to their All-Dynasty Team in 2020 as well as their All-2010s team. He ends his career eighth in franchise history in receptions (381) while recording 3,278 receiving yards, 1,278 rushing yards and 36 total touchdowns in 95 career regular-season games.

"James defines the term consummate professional," Belichick said in a statement. "His dependability, consistency, unselfishness and performance under pressure are elite. Combining great intelligence, quickness and elusiveness, James was a perfect fit for our pass offence.

"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."

The Patriots re-signed White to a two-year, $5 million contract in March, though only $500,000 of that amount was guaranteed.