Bill Belichick on passing of Terry Glenn: ‘It’s a sad day’

Terry Glenn New England Patriots
1999: Terry Glenn is all smiles on the bench following his fourth-quarter touchdown that put away the Browns. –Globe Archives

According to several reports Monday morning, former Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn has died in a car crash.

“Terry was a very smart individual,” head coach Bill Belichick said following the news. “Had, obviously, a lot of physical skill and talent, could do a lot of things on the football field very naturally.”

Selected by New England as the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NFL Draft, Glenn played six seasons with the Patriots before getting traded to Green Bay. As a Patriot, Glenn recorded 4,669 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns — including Tom Brady’s first.

“I was pretty close with Terry,” Belichick continued. “His rookie season was my first year here in ’96, so I had a lot of interaction with him and other people who were involved in his life and upbringing separate from the Patriots.”

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Belichick first worked with Glenn while he was New England’s assistant head coach for just one season before leaving for the Jets. After Belichick returned to the team in 2000, Glenn started all 16 games for the Patriots and was targeted a career-high 163 times. His role as a leading receiver even earned him a six-year, $50 million contract extension mid-season.

The next year, however, featured a host of other problems that ultimately led to the demise of his career in New England. After testing positive for marijuana during the summer, Glenn served a four-game suspension to start the season. Although he did return to the field for four other games that season, Belichick ultimately deactivated him from the roster due to subsequent injuries and other disputes with the coaching staff. Glenn did not a receive a ring for the Patriots’ Super Bowl XXVI win.

Despite his tumultuous history with the team, Glenn was “deep-down inside, a good person with good intentions and a good heart,” according to Belichick.

“Obviously, it’s a very unfortunate passing and a sad day,” he said. “It’s sad news.