New England Patriots

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 05: James White #28 of the New England Patriots holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy to celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

  • After spending the beginning of training camp on the PUP list, Patriots running back James White has decided to retire.

    The 30-year-old announced his decision with a tweet on Thursday morning thanking his family, Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, his teammates, and the fans.

  • White had been working his way back from a season-ending hip injury suffered last September. Recent reports had indicated he may not be ready to play to start this season.

    Drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round in 2014, White assumed the main passing-down back role – a key role in the Patriots’ offense – in the 2015 season. Between 2015 and 2020, White caught 364 passses for 3,161 yards and 25 touchdowns. No running back in the NFL surpassed any of those numbers during that window.

    The defining moment of White’s career came in the Patriots’ legendary comeback win in Super Bowl 51. White caught 14 passes for 110 yards, becoming just the second back in Super Bowl history to cross the century mark receiving. He also scored three touchdowns as well as a two-point conversion. His final touchdown was the game-winner in overtime. After the game, Tom Brady stated he believed White should have been game MVP, and gave the truck he won as a prize to his running back.

  • White got off to a strong start through two games of the 2021 season. However, he suffered that season-ending hip injury in the team’s Week 3 game against the Saints. The 30-year-old had tried to make a return this season after re-signing with the Patriots in free agency, but was limited during spring practices and hadn’t been on the field so far in camp.

    In eight NFL seasons, White caught 381 passes, which is the eight-most of any player in Patriots history regardless of position. He amassed 3,278 yards and 25 touchdowns. In four of his six full seasons, he ranked either first or second on the team in receptions. He was a part of all three Super Bowl winning teams in the second half of the Patriots’ dynasty.

    With White officially off the roster, the Patriots have five backs on their roster in Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson, J.J. Taylor, and rookies Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris. Stevenson and Strong figure to be the favorites to take over White’s old role. Ty Montgomery, who is listed as a wide receiver but has running back experience, could also factor in.