Former New Orleans Saints wide receiver David Patten was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in South Carolina, according to multiple reports Friday morning. He was just 47 years old.
Patten went undrafted coming out of Western Carolina in 1996, instead playing for the Albany Firebirds of the Arena Football League. He signed a free-agent contract with the New York Giants in 1997 and made their active roster.
Playing three years with the Giants, Patten was their primary kickoff returner and caught 33 passes for 460 yards and three touchdowns.
He joined the Cleveland Browns in 2000, hauling in 38 receptions for 546 yards and a score for one season before signing with the New England Patriots.
Patten enjoyed the best production of his career in New England. He was with the Patriots for four years and was part of three Super Bowl championship teams, accounting for the team's only offensive touchdown in their Super Bowl XXXVI victory over the Rams.
Patten had 165 receptions for 2,513 yards and 16 touchdowns with New England. In 2002, he achieved what would be career-highs with 61 catches and 824 yards. After leaving the Patriots, he played two years with the Washington Redskins in 2005 and 2006.
After being released by Washington in 2007, Patten signed with the New Orleans Saints. He’d finish second on the team with 792 receiving yards in 2007 on 54 receptions, the second highest total of his career.
Following an injury-plagued season with the Saints in 2008, he was out of football in 2009. Patten re-signed with the Patriots in 2010, where he announced his retirement early in training camp.
Patten returned to Western Carolina in 2013 to finish his degree and serve as an assistant coach on their football staff. His son, Daquan Patten, is a senior wide receiver for Western Carolina.
The Saints News Network sends our condolences to family, friends, and loved ones of the Patten family.