Former NFL wide receiver David Patten died in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina at the age of 47. He's known for his time with the New England Patriots in the early 2000s, and when Tom Brady learned the news, he went to social media to send an emotional message to his former teammate. Patten joined the Patriots in 2001, the same year Brady became the starting quarterback.
"The consummate professional," Brady said in his Instagram Story, per E! News. "RIP my friend. My love goes out to David's family." According to ESPN, a motorcycle driver, who was identified as Patten, crossed a median, causing a crash involving two other cars. One of the cars' drivers was also taken to a hospital with injuries. The crash remains under investigation.
"I am heartbroken by the news of David's passing," Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "He was a devout Christian who followed his passion following his football career and founded his own ministry. David transitioned from an undersized and understated wide receiver to a powerful and passionate preacher. In New England, he will always be remembered as a three-time Super Bowl Champion. His touchdown reception in the AFC Championship game at Pittsburgh propelled the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXVI and I'll never forget his remarkable catch in the back of the end zone in that game. It was our only offensive touchdown in the Super Bowl and secured our first championship in franchise history. Our sincerest sympathies are with his wife, Galiena, his family and all who are mourning David's tragic and untimely death."
Patten played in 54 regular-season games with the Patriots from 2001-2004. In his time in New England, Patten caught 165 passes for 2,513 yards and 16 touchdowns in the regular season. Patten also played big in the postseason, recording 15 receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns. One of his most notable plays with the Patriots was when he caught a 91-yard touchdown pass from Brady against the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 21, 2001. He helped the team win three Super Bowls before moving on to play for the Washington Football Team and New Orleans Saints. Before joining the Patriots, Patten played for the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.
"It breaks my heart to hear of David's tragic passing at such a young age," Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said. "I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions. I especially appreciate David for his professional journey.