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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    After 14 years, Bledsoe retires

    By Bob Duffy, Globe Staff | April 12, 2007

    Drew Bledsoe, who carried the Patriots to the threshold of NFL supremacy but was reduced to a spectator's role when they finally achieved it, retired last night after a 14-year NFL career.


    "I feel so fortunate, so honored, to have played this game that I love for so long, with so many great players, and in front of so many wonderful fans," he told the Associated Press.

    Bledsoe parlayed a howitzer arm, impenetrable grit, and a gunslinger's swagger into 44,611 passing yards and 251 touchdowns with the Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and, finally, the Dallas Cowboys. At 35, he ends his career seventh in history in yards, 13th in TDs, and fifth in completions (3,839).

    A prodigy at Washington State, he was a starter from Day 1 after the Patriots made him the first overall pick in the 1993 draft. He made the Pro Bowl four times and helped the Patriots to the playoffs on five occasions. But the last carried an asterisk, because after getting hurt in the third game of the 2001 season, Bledsoe watched first from a hospital bed, and then from the sideline as his replacement, unheralded Tom Brady, galvanized the Patriots to the Super Bowl crown, their first of three in four years.

    Though he came off the bench in place of the injured Brady and guided the Patriots to an upset of the Steelers in the AFC Championship game, Bledsoe's nine-year New England reign effectively ended when the Jets' Mo Lewis rammed him on the sideline, causing severe internal injuries.

    It was a demoralizing end to his New England tenure, which had appeared to be on the brink of unlimited promise when Bledsoe brought the Patriots to the 1997 Super Bowl, where they lost to the Packers, 35-21.

    After the 2001 season, Bledsoe was traded to Buffalo for a first-round pick. There, he revived his career, earning Pro Bowl honors in 2002. The following two years were unfulfilling, and Bledsoe reunited with Bill Parcells in Dallas before the 2005 season. The Cowboys barely missed the playoffs, but Bledsoe got off to a dismal start last year and was replaced by another novice, Tony Romo.

    That was the unfortunate coda to an otherwise sterling career.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: After 14 years, Bledsoe retires

    Sorry to see him go. It was time though. I've always liked Drew, he was a class act.

  3. #3
    81~BIG-GAME's Avatar
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    Re: After 14 years, Bledsoe retires

    It was inevitable,he had 14 years which is a great career in the NFL. I will miss him pulling the ball down and taking off though..

  4. #4
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: After 14 years, Bledsoe retires

    Classy guy, and had the potential for more if not for Brady.

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