Patriots running back James White will retire after 8 NFL seasons

"I am forever grateful."

Stan Grossfeld
James White takes the handoff from Tom Brady during Super Bowl LI.

James White, the running back who scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime for the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, announced on Thursday morning he will retire from the NFL.

“New England will be in my heart forever,” he wrote on Twitter. ”Thank you for unwavering support over the years. I am forever grateful. This chapter has been one that I will cherish. I look forward to what is next.”

White, 30, began training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He missed nearly all of the 2021 season while recovering from a hip injury suffered in Week 3 against the Saints.


White had agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal to return to New England in March.

White caught 12 passes for 94 yards and added 38 rushing yards in 2021. In 14 games in 2020, he totaled 121 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, along with 49 receptions for 375 receiving yards.

White was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round in 2014. White won three titles while in New England.

In his retirement announcement, White offered his thanks to the team.

“Thank you to 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,” he wrote.

“To my teammates, thank you for pushing me to be a better person and player,” he continued. “I truly value and appreciate the lifelong relationship I’ve built along the way. It’s these relationships that have helped shape me to be the man that I am.”

In a statement Thursday, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wrote, “James defines the term consummate professional. His dependability, consistency, unselfishness, and performance under pressure are elite. Combining great intelligence, quickness and elusiveness, James was a perfect fit for our pass offense.”


Correction: Due to an editing error, the original version of this story said White had played in nine NFL seasons, when he played in eight. regrets the error.


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