New England Patriots

UPDATE: Danny Woodhead has announced his retirement via Instagram, giving Patriots running backs coach Ivan Fears a shout-out in the process.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

The Patriots have reportedly contacted Danny Woodhead, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. The Falcons also reportedly contacted the free-agent running back.

Woodhead played in 45 games for the Patriots from 2010-12, catching 92 of 130 targets for 982 yards and 4 receiving touchdowns from Tom Brady. He also rushed 250 times for 1,199 yards (a 4.8-yard average) and 10 rushing touchdowns in his three seasons.

The 33-year-old went on to play four years with the Chargers and the 2017 season with the Ravens, who released him on Monday. He’s played just 10 games in the past two seasons due to multiple injuries; he tore his ACL early in the 2016 season for the Chargers, and missed eight games for the Ravens in 2017 due to hitting Injured Reserve with a hamstring injury.

Danny Woodhead celebrates after catching a three-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady for the New England Patriots against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Woodhead joined the league as an undrafted free agent with the Jets, but only lasted one season and part of a second in New York. He’s gone on to earn over $15 million in 10 NFL seasons, spurred by a successful run in New England. As you may or may not recall, he caught all four targets for 42 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants.

It’s unclear how much Woodhead has left in the proverbial tank at this point – and whether he could even stay healthy, let alone be the same kind of weapon for Brady that he’s been in the past. But if the Patriots did sign him, he’d certainly be an addition to the offense that Brady would trust.

With the departure of Dion Lewis, the Patriots clearly look to be prioritizing the running back position. They’ve re-signed Rex Burkhead and could be targeting one in the draft, based on their recent pre-draft activity.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at