BOSTON -- James White is calling it a career, retiring from football after spending all eight of his NFL seasons with the New England Patriots.
And what a special -- and incredible -- run it was. The man known as "Sweet Feet" became a huge piece of New England's offense during the team's second dynasty from 2014-2018, serving as Tom Brady's security net out of the backfield. He was a clutch third-down back who made several defenders look silly, and had a knack for finding the end zone at the most crucial times for the Patriots.
White announced his retirement with a heartfelt message on his Twitter account Thursday morning. The 30-year-old thanked his family, the Patriots organization, and New England fans for eight incredible years.
"Thank you Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick, and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream. 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 honor," White wrote.
He'll go down as one of the all-time great Patriots for his contributions on the field and his professionalism off it. He helped the team win three Super Bowls during his time in New England, and was always a willing to give his time to the community.
"James defines the term consummate professional,"shortly after White's announcement. "He was a multi-year team captain and one of the most respected, best team players I have ever coached."
White was a fourth-round pick by the Patriots in 2014, and after he played in just three games his rookie year, he became an integral part of the New England offense as the team's pass-catching back in 2015. He hauled in 381 receptions and scored 36 total touchdowns (25 receiving, 11 rushing) for the Patriots over his eight seasons. Those 381 receptions are good for eighth all-time in New England, and second among running backs behind only the great Kevin Faulk.
White is best known for scoring the game-winning touchdown in overtime of New England's comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI -- the only walk-off touchdown in Super Bowl history. White scored three touchdowns and had a two-point conversion that game to set a Super Bowl record with 20 points.
Overall, White scored eight touchdowns -- three receiving, eight rushing -- in 12 playoff games with New England. He was, simply, a postseason beast.
White's 2021 season ended early after he suffered a hip injury in Week 3 that required surgery. He signed a two-year deal to return to New England in the offseason, but started training camp on PUP as he struggled to move on the field.
Now he's hanging up his cleats to start a new chapter in his life. White was a quiet leader in the locker room who personified the team-first approach that is beloved in New England. With three Super Bowl rings and a whole bunch of important catches, he'll forever be remembered as one of the many important contributors on offense during New England's second dynastic run.
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