25 Greatest New England Patriots Ever

Tom Brady

Patriots Overview:

The Patriots are among the greatest franchises in professional sports, winning six Super Bowl championships (XXXVI, XXXVII, XXXVIII, XLII, XLVI, and LI). They have also played in 15 AFC Championship Games, going 11-4 in those games.

The Patriots have had some memorable games in their history. In one of the most famous games in NFL history, the “Snow Bowl” or “Tuck Rule Game,” the Patriots defeated the Oakland Raiders in a playoff game on January 19, 2002. The game was played in Foxborough amid a blizzard, with snow accumulating to two feet.

The Patriots also had a memorable victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. Trailing by 25 points midway through the third quarter, Tom Brady led the Patriots on one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, eventually winning 34-28 in overtime.

The List:

Whether you’re a fan of the Patriots or not, there’s no denying that they have some of the best players ever put on pads. This post will count down the 25 greatest Patriots players of all time. Some big names will be on this list, so make sure you read until the end!

25. Matthew Slater

Matthew Slater is one of the most underrated players in the NFL. He doesn’t get the recognition he deserves, but he’s one of the greatest new England patriots ever.

Slater is a phenomenal special teams player and a capable wide receiver. He has been a part of three Super Bowl championship teams and an unsung hero of the second Patriots dynasty in the 2010s. 

Slater is a true team player and always puts the team first. He is a great role model for young players and sets a good example for being a professional athlete. Slater is also a man of faith that helps spreads positive messages worldwide.

He is genuinely one of the best people in the NFL at what he does and deserves more recognition than he gets.

24. Jon Morris

Center Jon Morris is one of the most successful Boston Patriots history players ever. A seven-time pro bowler and one-time All-Pro selection, Morris was a dominant force on the offensive line for the Patriots in the 1960s.

Morris’s combination of strength, agility, and intelligence makes him unique. He read the defense and made quick adjustments, allowing him to dominate opposing linemen. He also had a ferocious attitude on the field, never giving up an inch.

His play earned him the respect of his peers and the admiration of Patriots fans.

23. Raymond Clayborn

Raymond Clayborn is one of the greatest players to wear a New England Patriots jersey. He is a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame and was voted onto the NFL’s all-decade team for the 1970s.

Clayborn had an illustrious career with the Patriots, playing for them from 1977 to 1989 before finishing off the last two years of his career in Cleveland. And his play at DB was a big reason why the Patriots made it to their first Super Bowl in 1985.

He was one of the best defensive backs in the league during his time. Deserves to be on this list.

22. Steve Grogan

Grogan was known for his toughness and ability to make big plays when the team needed them most. To be honest, I think he was a bit underrated as he played during the lean years with the club.

Grogan’s career with the Patriots ended after 19 seasons, but he will always be remembered as one of the franchise’s greatest quarterbacks that should absolutely be recognized.

21. Troy Brown

Brown played for the team for 15 seasons and was a significant contributor on offense and special teams. He was named to the Pro Bowl three times and was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2001.

Brown’s versatility was his biggest asset. He could play wide receiver and punt returner, making him a valuable player on both offense and special teams. He also had a knack for making big plays in big games, which helped the Patriots win three Super Bowl championships.

Brown’s contributions to the Patriots cannot be overstated. He was an integral part of their dynasty in the early 2000s and remains one of the most beloved players in team history.

20. Randy Moss

Moss spent just three full seasons with the Patriots, but his impact on the team was undeniable. His 2007 season is arguably the most dominant by any player in football history, regardless of position. He caught 23 touchdowns with almost 1500 receiving yards to boot.

Yes, he wasn’t able to win a Super Bowl with the Patriots, but his impact was immense. Moss’ combination of speed, size, and athleticism made him virtually impossible to cover, and he routinely made spectacular catches that seemed impossible. His time in New England was a brief but memorable one nonetheless.

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro

19. Drew Bledsoe

Drew Bledsoe is one of the most iconic players in New England Patriots history but tends to be overshadowed by his successor in New England. But people forget how good of a player he truly was. He was integral to the Patriots’ early success and helped lay the foundation for future championships. He deserved to be recognized on this list.

18. Matt Light

Matt Light was an integral part of the Patriots dynasty in the early 2000s, and his contributions to the team cannot be overstated. Few players have been as consistent or dominant as Matt Light throughout his career.

He was a stalwart on the offensive line for the Patriots, providing protection for Tom Brady and opening up running lanes for the team’s running backs. His play was a key factor in the Patriots’ championship run in 2001, and he continued to be a top performer for the team until his retirement in 2012.

Light was also a respected leader. He served as a captain for the Patriots for several years and was known for his hard work and dedication. He was a popular player with both fans and teammates, and he will be remembered as one of the all-time greats in New England Patriots history.

17. Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman was the Patriot’s successor to Wes Welker in the slot position at WR, and he didn’t miss a beat. He has caught countless big passes in big games over the years and is a three-time Super Bowl champion. He was also named the MVP of Super Bowl LIII after catching ten passes for 141 yards in a 13-3 victory.

Edelman was a great receiver who always seems to make big catches when the team needs him the most. He is also an outstanding blocker, which allows the Patriot’s offense to be more versatile.

Edelman was a crucial part of their success and is one of the most popular players on the team. He will go down as one of the best players in franchise history for his postseason performances. Big players make big plays. And Edelman did just that.

16. Stanley Morgan

There’s no questioning that Stanley Morgan is one of the greatest New England Patriots of all time. He ranks second in team history in receptions (677), receiving yards (10,352), and touchdown catches (68).

Even more impressive is that he accomplished all of this despite playing during some lean years for the Pats. The team had just two winning seasons during Morgan’s first nine years in the league.

But that didn’t stop Morgan from becoming one of the most productive receivers in NFL history. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and was named First-Team All-Pro twice.

Morgan was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame for his achievements in 2007.

15. Logan Mankins

Since then, Logan Mankins was drafted by the Patriots in 2005 and has been a mainstay on the offensive line. He was named to the Pro Bowl six times and was a first-team All-Pro five times. In 2011, he was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year.

Mankins is known as a hard worker and a team player. He always puts the team first and never complains about his role or playing time. It’s a shame he couldn’t win a championship with the team, as he played with the Patriots during their ten-year Super Bowl drought from 2005 to 2015.

14. Vince Wilfork

No defensive lineman played better for the Patriots than Vince Wilfork. Vince Wilfork was an outstanding defensive tackle for the Patriots from 2004 to 2015. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl champion and was named to the Patriots’ 50th-anniversary team.

He spend the majority of his career in New England and was undoubtedly a fan favorite and even a ballhawk with three career interceptions!

13. Willie McGinest

Willie McGinest is one of the most accomplished players in New England Patriots’ history. He was a dominant force on defense for the team for over a decade, and his play earned him three Super Bowl rings.

McGinest ranks second all-time in Patriots history with 73.5 sacks, and he was a vital part of the team’s record-breaking defense that led to three Super Bowl championships in four years. His ability to get after the quarterback made him a feared player around the NFL, and it was a big reason why the Patriots were so successful on defense.

McGinest was also a very versatile player. He could play both defensive end and outside linebacker, and he was equally effective against the run and the pass. This flexibility allowed the Patriots to move him around on the defensive line as needed, and it made him a matchup nightmare for opposing offenses.

12. Bruce Armstrong

Bruce Armstrong was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1987 and played for them until his retirement in 2000. He is considered one of the best offensive linemen to ever play for the Patriots, and many fans rank him as one of the team’s top all-time players.

Armstrong was a 6-time Pro Bowler named on the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team. In 2012, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Armstrong’s size, strength, and speed allowed him to dominate opposing linemen. But what set him apart was his intelligence and technique. He read the defense and made the proper adjustments on the fly, which often led to big plays for the Patriots.

He retired right before the Patriots first Super Bowl in 2001, but his leadership led the way for future championship teams in 2001, 2003, and 2004.

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The Patriots have won six Lombardi trophies

11. Tedy Bruschi

No one played harder or meaner for the New England Patriots than Tedy Bruschi. Tedy Bruschi was a linebacker for the Patriots from 1996 to 2008. He was a three-time Super Bowl champion and was voted to the Patriots’ 50th-anniversary team.

Bruschi’s talent, accomplishments, and dedication to the game and his team make him unique. After suffering a stroke in 2005, Bruschi made a fantastic comeback, returning to play later that season. His determination and resilience are an inspiration to fans and players alike, and he will always be remembered as one of the greatest Patriots ever.

10. Adam Vinatieri

Adam Vinatieri is the most successful kicker in NFL history. He has played for both the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts and won four Super Bowls (three with New England, one with Indianapolis). He is a 10-time Pro Bowler and a two-time AFC kicker of the year. No kicker has been more successful than Adam Vinatieri.

He has made countless crucial kicks to help them win games and a few to win Super Bowls. You can’t write the history of the Patriots without Adam Vinatieri’s name, which gives him a top 10 spot on this list.

9. Nick Buoniconti

There’s no question that Nick Buoniconti is one of the greatest New England Patriots ever. He was a vital part of the team’s success in the early days, and he continued to be a leader even after he retired from playing.

One of the things that set Buoniconti apart was his passion for the game. He was always working hard to improve his skills and was always determined to win. He was also a great teammate and always prioritized the team.

Buoniconti helped make the Patriots one of the most successful teams in NFL history, thanks to his talent and determination. He will always be remembered as one of the best players ever to wear a Patriots jersey.

8. Richard Seymour

Seymour was voted to seven Pro Bowls and was a first-team All-Pro five times. He was just recently inducted into this year’s class of 2022. Drafted by the Patriots in 2001 and quickly established himself as one of the best defensive players in the league. He was a crucial part of the Super Bowl championship teams in 2001, 2003, and 2004.

Seymour was a dominant force on the defensive line, and he regularly disrupted opposing offenses. He was also a good teammate and helped build the culture of winning in New England today. After spending nine seasons with the Patriots, Seymour was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2009. He spent four seasons with the Raiders before retiring in 2013.

Seymour finishes his career with 57.5 sacks and seven Pro Bowl appearances. He is without question one of the greatest players in Patriots history, and he deserves to be remembered for his contributions to the team’s dynasty.

7. Wes Welker

Welker had an uncanny ability to get open and make catches in traffic. He was also a dangerous punt returner, which added an extra dimension to the Patriot’s offense. During his time with the Patriots, Welker caught 672 passes for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns. He also returned 238 punts for 2,078 yards and another three touchdowns.

His accomplishments speak for themselves, and there’s no doubt that he will go down as one of the greatest slot receivers of all time. He changed the game.

6. Mike Haynes

Mike Haynes was drafted by the New England Patriots in 1976 and played nine seasons with the team. He is considered one of the best players in Patriots history and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 1999.

Haynes was an outstanding cornerback who hugely impacted the Patriots’ defense. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection.

5. Ty Law

Ty Law was one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history. He played for the Patriots from 1995 to 2004 and helped the team win three Super Bowls during that time. A five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro. He was also named to the 2000s All-Decade Team.

Ty’s most memorable moments came during Super Bowl 36 against the Rams. He intercepted a pass from Rams quarterback Kurt Warner which was returned for a touchdown. That play helped the Patriots win their first Super Bowl in franchise history and sparked their dynasty run.

He will always be remembered as one of the greatest players ever to wear a New England Patriots jersey.

4. Andre Tippett

Andre Tippett is one of the greatest players ever to wear a New England Patriots uniform. He was a dominant pass-rusher who terrorized opposing quarterbacks for over a decade.

Tippett was drafted by the Patriots in 1982 and spent his entire career with the team. He was a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro. Tippett placed third in Defensive Player of the Year votings in 1984. He ranks second on the Patriot’s all-time sack list with 100.5 sacks, and he is one of just six players in NFL history to reach 100 sacks and 1,000 tackles. 

Tippett’s accomplishments speak for themselves, and he is without question one of the greatest players in Patriots history. He was an integral part of the team’s success during the 1980s and early 1990s (making the Super Bowl in 1985), and his legacy will continue to be remembered by fans for years to come.

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Pro Football Hall Of Fame, Canton

3. Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is one of the most dominant tight ends in NFL history. He is a five-time Pro Bowler and four-time Super Bowl champion. Gronk has set numerous records for tight ends, including the most receiving touchdowns in a season (17) and the second-most receiving yards (1,327). An absolute nightmare for opposing defenses to deal with.

He has set several records for the Patriots, including the most receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end. He is also one of the most productive players in postseason play in NFL history.

Gronkowski was also a fan favorite. He is one of the most popular players in the NFL, and he always puts on a show for the fans. Rob Gronkowski knows how to entertain the crowd, whether catching touchdown passes or spiking the ball after a big play.

2. John Hannah

John Hannah is considered one of the best players in New England Patriots history. He was a crucial part of the team’s success in the 1970s, and his impressive play earned him several accolades, including being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

His unique blend of size and speed set Hannah apart from other players. He was swift for a player his size, which allowed him to make plays that other linemen couldn’t. He also had a tremendous work ethic, which helped him become one of the best players in the NFL.

Hannah’s legacy with the Patriots is undeniable. He was an integral part of the franchise in the 1970s and 80s, and his impressive play left a lasting impression on the franchise. Thanks to Hannah and his foundation, the Patriots are one of the most successful teams in NFL history.

1. Tom Brady

Tom Brady is the most successful quarterback in NFL history and an obvious number one. He has played for the New England Patriots since 2000, and during that time, the team has won six Super Bowls.

In 2017, Brady became the all-time leader in playoff wins by a quarterback, with 30. He is also a five-time Super Bowl MVP, which is more than any other player in history.

Despite these setbacks, Brady has always remained a champion on and off the field. He is a great role model for young athletes and is known for his dedication to training and fitness. He is also an advocate for healthy eating and has released his cookbook, “The TB12 Method.”

No player will ever be more important to the Patriots franchise than Tom Brady.

Could Add To The List:

  • Donta Hightower
  • Deion Branch
  • Bob Dee
  • Devin McCourty
  • Ben Coats
  • Kevin Faulk
  • Rob Ninkovich
  • Stephon Gilmore
  • Lawyer Milloy
  • Gino Cappelletti
  • James White
  • Malcolm Butler
  • Stephen Gostkowski