By John Buhler
The New England Patriots have been the greatest NFL franchise in the 21st century. Here are the 30 best players to have played for the Patriots all-time.
No team has been more impressive this century in the NFL than the New England Patriots. With 15 AFC East titles, eight AFC Championships and five Super Bowl championships since 2001, there’s simply no argument that the Tom Brady/Bill Belichick marriage has been anything less than stellar over the last 17 seasons.
While New England is seen as the gold standard in the NFL today, the Patriots weren’t always the crown jewel of the AFC. In fact, New England was arguably one of the most pitiful organizations in all of football before owner Robert Kraft bought the team in the mid-1990s.
New England had managed just six playoff appearances (one in the AFL, five in the NFL) before Kraft purchased the football team in 1994. The Patriots have their roots as the Boston Patriots during their first decade as a franchise in the 1960s. The “New England” part of the team name came in its early years in the NFL in 1971 to be more regionally...