James White, the running back who scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime for the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, announced Thursday morning that he will be retiring from the NFL.
“New England will be in my heart forever,” he wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for your unwavering support over the years. I am eternally grateful. This chapter was the one I will cherish. I eagerly await follow-up.”
White won his third championship ring in 2017, when he was also named Super Bowl MVP.
White, 30, started training camp on the roster physically unable to perform. He missed most of the 2021 season as he recovered from a hip injury sustained 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 rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns, as well as 49 receptions for 375 receiving yards.
White was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round in 2014. White has won three New England titles.
In his retirement announcement, White thanked the team.
“Thank you to Mr. Kraft, Coach Belichick and the entire Patriots organization for giving me the opportunity to realize my childhood dream: to be able to play my entire career for a franchise, in front of the best fans of the NFL, has been a huge blessing and honor,” he wrote.
“To my teammates, thank you for pushing me to be a better person and a better player,” he continued. “I truly appreciate and value the lifelong relationship I’ve built along the way. These are the relationships that helped me become the man I am.
Correction: Due to an editing error, the original version of this story stated that White had played nine seasons in the NFL, when he had played eight. Boston.com regrets the error.
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