The New England Patriots were never an aerial circus during their early-2000s dynasty that saw them pick up three championships in four seasons, but David Patten was able to establish himself as one of Tom Brady’s more reliable targets over his five years in Foxborough.
Patten may not have put up Pro Bowl numbers, but he’s still remembered fondly by Patriots fans for his consistency and clutch play, as it was No. 86 who was on the receiving end of some of the most impactful scores in franchise history.
Unfortunately, tragedy has befallen one of the best Patriots from the formative years of Brady’s NFL career, as the New England franchise was rocked by Patten passing away well before his time.
Former Patriots teammate Richard Seymour and a man named George Moore claiming to be Patten’s cousin on Twitter have said the former New England wide receiver passed away at the age of 47. Moore claims that he passed after a motorcycle accident.
Former New England Patriots receiver David Patten passed away at 47.
Patten was an undrafted free agent out of Western Carolina in 1996. After spending time in the Arena Football League with the Albany Firebirds, Patten received some cups of coffee with the Giants and Browns. Patten joined the Patriots in 2001, and that’s when his career really stepped on the accelerator.
Patten recorded 749 yards receiving in three out of the next four years, catching 16 touchdowns during his four years. However, he’s mostly remembered for his contributions in the postseason.
It was Patten who was the primary perimeter weapon against the Raiders in the divisional playoff game. Patten also recorded the only offensive touchdown for New England in both the AFC Championship Game against Pittsburgh and Super Bowl against St. Louis.
Patten had some solid years in Washington and New Orleans after he left New England following the 2004 season, but nothing came close to what he was able to accomplish with the Patriots.
He returned to the coaching ranks when he became an assistant at Western Carolina before the 2013 season. He also worked as a motivational speaker. His son Daquan is currently a receiver on the WCU football team.
We send our most sincere condolences to the Patten family and the Patriots in what must be a very difficult time. The memories that Patten helped create during his time in New England will without question stand the test of time.