A three-time Super Bowl champion on Wednesday received his long-awaited call to the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Former New England linebacker Mike Vrabel was elected into the franchise’s Hall of Fame via a fan vote, beating out fellow finalists Bill Parcells and Logan Mankins.
“It’s my pleasure to announce Mike Vrabel as this year’s selection to the Patriots Hall of Fame,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. “Mike’s leadership and versatility were principal to one of the most successful eras in franchise history, propelling the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles in four years and establishing multiple NFL records for consecutive-game win streaks.
“Many Patriots players have made contributions in all three phases of the game, but none more significantly than Mike. He was an eight-year starter on defense who also regularly contributed on special teams and is the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns on his first 10 career receptions, including touchdowns in back-to-back Super Bowl victories. He was respected for his football intellect and was destined to become a head coach in this league. I look forward to welcoming him back to New England, where his induction will preserve his legacy as one of the greatest players in franchise history.”
Vrabel, who played for the Patriots from 2001-08 and currently coaches the Tennessee Titans, made the final round of Hall of Fame voting in each of the last six years, losing out to Kevin Faulk, Raymond Clayborn, Matt Light, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour and Vince Wilfork. The 47-year-old is the 34th Patriots Hall of Fame inductee and the eighth three-time champion to receive that honor, joining Faulk, Light, Seymour, Willie McGinest, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Ty Law.
“Obviously, this is an unbelievable honor to be associated with the people in that Hall,” Vrabel told Kraft, as seen in a team-released video. “… You don’t think it’s a big deal until you get called, and obviously, I’m very honored.”
Longtime Patriots assistant coach Dante Scarnecchia also was selected for Hall of Fame enshrinement as a contributor. The date for his and Vrabel’s induction ceremony has yet to be announced.