One of the greatest players to ever grace a Patriots jersey, Willie McGinest won three Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXIX), was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1995 and 2002, and has the most postseason sacks in NFL history with 16. McGinest was one of the longest tenured Patriots in franchise history, spending 11 years there from 1994-2005.
McGinest was taken with the 4th overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, playing his college football at USC. McGinest’s finest season with the Pats came a year later, when he recorded 70 tackles and 11 sacks. In a 2005 Wild Card Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, McGinest set an NFL postseason record by recording 4.5 sacks in one game. In the process, McGinest also broke the record for most postseason sacks. McGinest finished his Patriots career with 78 sacks, which ranks third in team history.
Another great Patriot moment for McGinest came late in a came against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts were driving downfield, looking for the go-ahead touchdown. With the Colts on the goal line, McGinest faked an injury to give the Patriots defense a much-needed breather, since New England had no timeouts remaining. On the next play, McGinest came around the edge and stopped Edgerrin James in the backfield on fourth down, sealing a Pats victory.
McGinest was released by New England on March 9, 2006 and less than a week later signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Cleveland Browns. McGinest wasn’t nearly as productive as he was with the Patriots, considering he was in his mid-30′s and had a lost a step coming off the line. McGinest retired following the 2008 season, finishing his career with 582 tackles, 86 sacks, and five interceptions.
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