New England Patriots running back James White announced his retirement after nine NFL seasons Thursday.
White was attempting to make a comeback from a hip injury that cost him all but three games in the 2021 season. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of camp and had no timetable for his return.
A 2014 fourth-round pick, White spent his entire career with the Patriots as a third-down specialist. While he only made 319 carries over the course of his career, he added 381 receptions and was a reliable check-down target for Tom Brady. His career-best season came in 2018, when he rushed for 425 yards and added 751 yards through the air, scoring 12 touchdowns in the process, as part of the Patriots' Super Bowl LIII-winning team.
New England won three championships during White's tenure with the franchise.
"James defines the term consummate professional," head coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "His dependability, consistency, unselfishness and performance under pressure are elite. Combining great intelligence, quickness and elusiveness, James was a perfect fit for our pass offense. While soft spoken, he brought exceptional leadership and competitive toughness to the team. He was a multi-year team captain and one of the most respected, best team players I have ever coached."
The Patriots hoped White would be able to resume his third-down duties this season but do have a loaded depth chart led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Rookie Pierre Strong Jr. and veteran Ty Montgomery are the most likely options to serve as the Patriots' primary pass-catcher out of the backfield this season.