April 11th, 2007
Irving, TX (Sports Network) - Drew Bledsoe, the former No. 1 overall draft selection and one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, retired Wednesday.
The retirement ends a 14-year career in which Bledsoe threw for 44,611 yards and 251 touchdowns for the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. The 35-year-old, who started for New England when the Patriots lost the Super Bowl to Green Bay in 1996, and who sat on the bench as Tom Brady led the Pats past the Rams in the Super Bowl in 2001, ranks fifth all-time with 3,839 completions, seventh all-time in passing yards, and 13th in touchdown passes.
Bledsoe helped the Dallas Cowboys to a 9-7 mark in '05 and was 3-3 as a starter -- passing for 1,164 yards with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions -- last season before being benched in favor of Tony Romo.
The Cowboys released the veteran quarterback in March.
Bledsoe informed several media outlets of his retirement through a statement from his representatives.
The top overall pick in the 1993 draft out of Washington State, Bledsoe made four Pro Bowls in his career. He lost his job to then-backup Tom Brady after being sidelined early in the 2001 season, but returned in the AFC championship game that year when Brady went down, and led the Pats to a victory and a berth in the Super Bowl. Brady went on to win the MVP in the big game, leading the drive that set up Adam Vinatieri's last-second field goal that clinched New England's first championship.
Bledsoe was acquired by Buffalo in 2002, and started for the team through 2004. He requested his release, however, after the team informed him that J.P. Losman would be the starter in 2005.