David Patten played for the New England Patriots for four seasons during his 12-year career. Moreover, Patten recorded at least 700 receiving yards in three of his four seasons and went on to win two Super Bowls with the team. Undrafted out of Western Carolina, Patten played an essential role in New England’s first dynasty, winning three Super Bowls.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick:

“It breaks my heart to hear of David’s tragic passing at such a young age. I am grateful to have coached David…As much as anyone, David epitomized the unheralded, self-made player who defied enormous odds to not only earn a job in the NFL but to become a key player on multiple championship teams. I can speak for anyone who had the pleasure to be around David that his work ethic, positive energy, and character were elite. My deepest condolences are with his family and loved ones.”

Patriots Owner Robert Kraft:

“I am heartbroken by the news of David’s passing. 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…Our sincerest sympathies are with his wife, Galiena, his family and all who are mourning David’s tragic and untimely death.”

Thoughts and prayers to the Patten family.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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