Longtime New England Patriots running back Kevin Faulk announced his retirement Tuesday, closing his 13-year career as one of the most productive Patriots players in the team’s history.
“Kevin Faulk helped define the way an entire generation of Patriots fans have come to view and appreciate our brand of football,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “He worked so hard to get better every year. He was always one of the first to arrive in the building and among the last to leave. His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike. He retires a Patriot whose career will always be celebrated for helping deliver three Super Bowl Championships to New England.”
Faulk, 35, has filled various roles since joining the team in 1999 as a second-round pick (46th overall) out of LSU. He is the Patriots all-time leader in all-purpose yards (12,349) and kickoff return yards (4,098) and is the Patriots’ all-time leading return specialist, totaling 5,041 combined return yards (4,098 kick return yards and 943 punt return yards).
He ranks fifth in Patriots history in rushing yards (3,607), fifth in receptions (431), eleventh in pass receiving yards (3,701) and sixth in total punt return yards (943). Faulk recorded the longest non-touchdown kickoff return in team history when he covered 95 yards on a return against the New York Jets (Nov. 15, 1999).
A tearful Faulk displayed his Super Bowl and American Football Conference rings as he thanked those who helped him have a successful career in the NFL Tuesday morning at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon.
“Kevin was just so adept at figuring out his role, doing it the very best that he could," said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. "He was the ultimate team player, hardest worker, always well prepared. I can’t remember asking a question in a team meeting that he didn’t have the right answer to.”
For his career, Faulk has played in 161 games and has accumulated 3,607 yards rushing on 864 attempts for a 4.2-yard average with 16 touchdowns, caught 431 passes for 3,701 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns, returned 182 kicks for 4,098 yards and two touchdowns and returned 101 punts for 943 yards.
Faulk is the Patriots’ all-time leader in receptions by a running back, totaling 431 in his career. He became just the 26th running back in NFL history to reach the 400-reception plateau. In the 2000s decade, he was one of just six players to rush for more than 3,000 yards and gain over 3,000 yards receiving, joining Tiki Barber, Marshall Faulk, Michael Pittman, LaDanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook.
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