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Former Patriots receiver David Patten dies in motorcycle crash at 47

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Former New England Patriots receiver David Patten died Thursday in a motorcycle crash, according to multiple reports

He was 47.

News of Patten's death emerged after former teammate Richard Seymour tweeted out a message paying tribute to Patten.

Patten, according to ESPN, crossed the median and crashed with two other cars outside of Columbia, South Carolina. One of the other drivers was taken to a hospital, though their injuries are unknown. The cause of the crash is still being investigated. 

David Patten with the Patriots.
David Patten caught a touchdown during the Patriots' Super Bowl win against the Rams. (Photo by Allen Kee/Getty Images)

Patriots pay tribute to David Patten

In a statement, the Patriots confirmed Patten's death. Coach Bill Belichick said he was "grateful to have coached" Patten, and called Patten a "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."

"It breaks my heart to hear of David's tragic passing at such a young age," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "I am grateful to have coached David. He is an essential person and player in Patriots history, without whom we would not have been Super Bowl champions. I especially appreciate David for his professional journey. 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 also paid tribute to Patten, calling out Patten's exceptional touchdown catch in the team's Super Bowl win over the St. Louis Rams.

A number of Patten's teammates and friends paid tribute to Patten on Friday.

David Patten played key role in Patriots' dynasty

Patten — who was not selected in the 1996 NFL draft — played for five different teams over his 12-year NFL career, but is most known for his time with the Patriots. After playing in the Arena Football League, Patten made the New York Giants in 1997. He played with the Giants and Cleveland Browns before joining the Patriots for the 2001 season, in which the team went on to win the Super Bowl.

Patten only caught one ball in that game, but it was a memorable one. With the Patriots looking to score before halftime, Patten made a leaping catch near the back of the end zone to extend the team's lead.

The Patriots went on to beat the Rams 20-17.

Patten remained with the Patriots through 2004, winning three total Super Bowls with the club.

During those four seasons, Patten emerged as one of Tom Brady's most dependable targets. Patten never exceeded 1,000 receiving yards, but was a consistent producer on some excellent teams. His finest season came in 2004, when Patten caught 44 passes for 800 yards and seven touchdowns. 

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