David Patten (August 19, 1974 – September 2, 2021) was an American professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League as a street free agent in 1996. Starting in 1997, he played in the NFL and competed for 12 seasons through 2008. He played college football at Western Carolina.
|Born:||August 19, 1974|
Hopkins, South Carolina
|Died:||September 2, 2021 (aged 47)|
Columbia, South Carolina
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||192 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:||Hopkins (SC) Lower Richland|
|As a player:|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|As a coach:|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at NFL.com · PFR · ArenaFan.com|
After graduating from high school, Patten attended Western Carolina University. As a junior in 1994, he averaged 3.6 catches, good for sixth in the Southern Conference. In 1995, his senior season, Patten recorded 59 catches for 881 yards and was named to the All-Southern Conference team.
Patten went undrafted in the 1996 NFL Draft but began his professional football career by playing for the Arena Football League's Albany Firebirds in the summer of 1996. He signed late in the AFL's season and played in their final regular season game on August 2, 1996, in a 54–49 win over the Milwaukee Mustangs. Patten caught two passes for 37 yards in the game.
New York GiantsEdit
After spending the rest of the 1996 season out of football, Patten was signed by the New York Giants on March 24, 1997. He was waived by the Giants on August 24, 1997, and re-signed to their practice squad the next day. Two days later, the Giants signed Patten to their 53-man roster. He played in 16 games for the Giants in 1997, catching 13 passes for 226 yards and returning eight kickoffs for 123 yards. In 1998, Patten played in 12 games for the Giants, returning 43 kickoffs for 928 yards and one touchdown, while also catching 11 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown. In 1999, his final season with the Giants, Patten played in 16 games, leading the team with 33 kickoff returns for 673 yards as well as recording nine receptions for 115 yards.
First stint with BrownsEdit
Following the 1999 season, Patten signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Cleveland Browns. He spent one season with the team, starting 10 of 14 games and recording 38 receptions for 546 yards.
First stint with the PatriotsEdit
In 2001, Patten signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots. He started 14 games at wide receiver for the Patriots in 2001, setting a then-career-high with 51 catches for 749 yards. Against the Indianapolis Colts on October 21, 2001, Patten became the eighth player in NFL history (and just the second since the merger) to run, catch, and throw for a touchdown in a 38–17 win; he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. Patten caught a touchdown pass from Drew Bledsoe in the AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh and then caught a score from Tom Brady in the Patriots' Super Bowl XXXVI win over the St. Louis Rams in February 2002, earning his first Super Bowl ring. In 2002, Patten again started 14 of 16 games, setting a career-high with 61 receptions, 824 yards, and five touchdowns while leading Patriots receivers with 13.5 yards per catch. Patten started five of the team's first six games in 2003 before being placed on injured reserve on November 7. Patten returned to start 11 of 16 games in 2004, recording 44 catches for 800 yards and seven touchdowns and earning his third Super Bowl ring in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
Following the 2004 season, Patten signed a five-year, $13 million contract with the Washington Redskins. Patten started seven of the first nine games of the season with the Redskins before being placed on injured reserve on November 18. He finished the season with 22 receptions for 217 yards. In 2006, Patten played in the first four games of the season, recording one reception for 25 yards, his only catch of the season. He was inactive for the remainder of the season except Week 17. He was released by the Redskins on March 22, 2007.
New Orleans SaintsEdit
A few weeks after his release from Washington, Patten signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. He went on to have the second-best season of his career statistically, catching 54 passes for 792 yards and three touchdowns. Patten started three of the first four games for the Saints in 2008, but played in only one game after that due to injuries. He finished the season with 11 catches for 162 yards and one touchdown and was released by the Saints following the season. 
Second stint with BrownsEdit
Return to New England and retirementEdit
On February 24, 2010, Patten was signed by the Patriots.
On July 31, 2010, Patten announced his retirement. When asked why he was retiring he responded, "I just felt like it was time. It just hit me yesterday. Camp was going really well. I was still able to go out and be competitive and operate at a high level, but I believe once you get to the point in your career where it's multiple years—it would be my 13th year—and you're thinking about it mentally and you're not 100 percent into it mentally wise, it's tough to play this game. I always felt like when I got to that that point, it would be in my best interests to walk away."
Return to Western Carolina UniversityEdit
David Patten had returned to Western Carolina University to complete his degree in social work and, at the time of his death in 2021, he was entering his ninth season as an assistant coach for the Catamounts.
On September 2, 2021, Patten died in a three-vehicle accident in Columbia, South Carolina, aged 47. While riding his motorcycle, he traveled left of the center line and collided with a sedan, which later collided with another vehicle.
- Bezjak, Lou (September 3, 2021). "'Great human being, man of God': Lower Richland, NFL remember David Patten". The State. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Former Catamount David Patten Joins WCU Football Coaching Staff". www.catamountsports.com. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Singelais, Mark (September 3, 2021). "David Patten, former Albany Firebird and Super Bowl champion, dies in motorcycle crash". Times Union. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "David Patten Albany Firebirds Stats". www.arenafan.com. Arena Fan. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Eisen, Michael (September 3, 2021). "Giants mourn David Patten, who began career with Big Blue". Giants.com. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Moore, Thomas (September 3, 2021). "Former Browns WR David Patten dies at age 47". SB Nation. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Player Game Finder Query Results: In a single game, from 1950 to 2018, in the NFL, in the Regular Season, requiring Rushing TD >= 1 and Receiving TD >= 1 and Passing TD >= 1, sorted by ascending Date". Pro-Football-Reference.com. September 25, 2018. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
- Smith, Michael (November 8, 2003). "Knee surgery puts Patten's season on ice". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "David Patten Stats". www.pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Patriots win 3rd Super Bowl in 4 years". China Daily. February 7, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Solomon, Jerome (March 4, 2005). "Patriots corner Starks; Redskins ink Patten". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 24, 2010.
- "Redskins Release Patten". Washington Football. March 24, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Saints drop WR David Patten". Houma Today. February 13, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Delery, Wallace (June 26, 2017). "Short-Term Saints: David Patten". Canal St. Chronicles. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Browns sign WR David Patten". AP via Fosters. March 24, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Wolf, Daniel. "Cleveland Browns News Roundup: QBs, Practice Squad, Cuts, and Josh Cribbs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Scott, Jon (February 25, 2010). "Patriots Sign WR David Patten". 247 Sports. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- Bissell, George (July 31, 2010). "Patriots wide receiver David Patten announces retirement". Patriots Gab. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
- "Former Catamount David Patten Joins WCU Football Coaching Staff Patten spent 12 seasons in NFL camps during his professional career". WCU Football News. February 11, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Wells, Adam. "Former Patriots WR David Patten Dies at Age 47". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
- "Patriots, Lower Richland football great David Patten Jr. dies in accident". WLTX. September 3, 2021.
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