New England Patriots: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Troy Brown, New England Patriots
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Troy Brown. 18. player. 47. . WR/PR/CB. (1993-07)

  • 3x Super Bowl Champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
  • Pro Bowl (2001)
  • Second-Team All-Pro (2001)
  • New England Patriots Hall of Fame

In the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick era, few Patriots were greater team players than wide receiver Troy Brown. Brown was initially an eighth-round pick out of Marshall in the 1993 NFL Draft by Bill Parcells. He would spend his entire 15-year NFL career in New England uniform.

Initially, Brown would struggle to find playing time as a wide receiver, with only two catches for 22 yards and no touchdown receptions in his first two years in the league. However, he would find ways to contribute on special teams as a punt returner early in his Patriots career.

Brown did see more balls go his way in the Parcells and Pete Carroll eras of the team, but wasn’t yet a full-time starter in the New England receiving corps. That would all change when Brady and Belichick were calling the shots.

In 2000, Brown would finally crack the starting lineup for New England at wide receiver. He set career highs in receptions with 83 and 944 yards for four touchdowns. Though the Patriots went 5-11 in 2000, Belichick’s belief in Brown would be to the benefit of all the following season.

Brown had his best year as a professional in 2001. He amassed 101 receptions for 1,199 yards and five touchdowns as one of Brady’s first favorite targets in the passing game. Brown made his only trip to the Pro Bowl that season, as well as earning Second-Team All-Pro honors.

Obviously, the Patriots would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVI that February over the then St. Louis Rams. It capped off a truly great year for Brown. However, his saga with the Patriots was far from over after that historic 2001 campaign.

Brown played a huge role in the next two Patriots’ Super Bowl championship teams in 2003 and 2004. Though his production as a receiver waned after 2002, he would be the ultimate team player in 2004 when he embraced playing cornerback out of necessity in the New England secondary. He had three interceptions for 22 yards that season.

Brown made it to one final Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2007 before retiring at the age of 36. He would later be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2012. Due to longevity with the club, Brown is second all-time in receptions for the Patriots with 557 and third all-time in receiving yards with 6,366. Simply put, Brown was pure class during his 15-year playing career in Foxborough.