Patriots running back James White announced his retirement Thursday following eight NFL seasons – all in New England.
White, 30, won three Super Bowl titles with the Patriots. In Super Bowl LI, he scored 20 points in the second half, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime to secure the unlikely comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons.
He issued a statement on social media announcing his retirement, thanking his family, the Patriots and others for making his NFL career possible.
“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 honour,” he wrote. “ … To say that Foxboro will always hold a special 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 the best as adults and where I have grown and created my family.”
The Patriots selected the five-foot-ten White in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft after his career at Wisconsin, where he amassed more than 4,000 yards rushing. But he was best known in New England for his receiving skills, catching 381 passes for 3,278 yards with 25 touchdowns out of the backfield.
He added 1,278 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in his 95 games (13 starts) with the Patriots.
Last season, he was limited to just three games and gained 132 yards from scrimmage, scoring one touchdown. He sustained a season-ending hip injury in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints and entered camp on the physically unable to perform list.
ESPN reported that, at a community event in July, White “was still walking with what appeared to be an uncomfortable gait.”
He forever will have a spot in Patriots’ history for his performance in New England’s 34-28 win over the Falcons, who took a 28-3 lead into halftime of Super Bowl LI. In that game, he caught 14 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown, ran for two touchdowns and converted a key two-point play. He set the record for most receptions in a Super Bowl game.
The Patriots now have five running backs on their roster: Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, J.J. Taylor, and rookies Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris.