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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New England Patriots
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Bob Dee. 24. player. 47. . DE. (1960-67)

  • New England Patriots No. 89 jersey retired
  • 4x AFL All-Star (1961, 1963-65)
  • 4x Second-Team All-AFL (1960-62, 1964)
  • New England Patriots Hall of Fame

In their history, the Patriots have retired seven numbers. Though that sort of gesture is more commonplace in both the MLB and the NBA, it’s a testament to what an organization thought of its former player in any sport. The first guy we’ll touch on today that has had his jersey retired by the Patriots is defensive end Bob Dee.

Dee had originally been a member of the Washington Redskins in the late 1950s after a great career playing for Holy Cross. After two years playing in the nation’s capital, Dee went back to his alma mater to coach linemen. However, it wouldn’t take long before he was back playing professionally.

In the jumpstart AFL, Dee didn’t have to leave New England, as he would join the Patriots in their inaugural season in Boston in 1960. Dee would go on to play the next eight seasons in the AFL for Boston.

Though out of the game for a year, Dee was able to make his presence known along the Patriots defensive line. He made three-straight All-AFL Second-Teams from 1960 to 1962, tacking on a fourth in 1964.

Four times would Dee be named an AFL All-Star. He first earned that honor in his second AFL season in 1961. Dee then proceeded to rattle off three in a row from 1963 to 1965 before exiting his prime. He played two more seasons with the Patriots before retiring after the 1967 AFL season at age 34.

Dee played 112 games, starting in all of them for the Patriots. Though Boston only made one playoff appearance in the AFL in 1963, one could say Dee was the pass-rushing force that the Patriots needed to get there. Though sacks weren’t an official stat during his playing days, Dee was known for his ability to get after all sorts of quarterbacks.

Dee still had some football left in the tank when he did hang up the spikes for good in 1967. He cited potentially lucrative business ventures as his reasoning for walking away from the game.

Unfortunately, Dee suffered a fatal heart attack while on a business trip in 1979 at the age of 45. He would posthumously have his No. 89 jersey retired and be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 1993.