Today in Patriots History
Happy 28th birthday to Brandon King
Born June 8, 1993 in Alabaster, Alabama
Patriot special teamer, 2015 - present; uniform #36
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent from Auburn (via Highlands Community College) on May 9, 2015
Brandon King has overcome extreme odds to play in the NFL. He first played linebacker for two years of college at Highland Community College in podunkville Kansas. To put that in perspective when I search that on the internet, the first thing that stands out is its proximity to Casey's General Store, and the population of town is exactly 1,012. He is the latest in a long line of Patriot special team standouts that includes Bob Gladieux, Mosi Tatupu, Larry Whigham, Larry Izzo, Nate Ebner and Matthew Slater.
King was able to transfer from Highland CC to Auburn, but he never started a single game for the Tigers. He was not invited to the NFL Combine, was ranked as the 72nd prospect at safety by NFL Draft Scout, 87th by 24/7 Sports, and his only opportunity to make an impression was at Auburn's Pro Day - against nine other fellow Tigers.
His signing by the Patriots after an invitation for a tryout at rookie minicamp was considered by most to be just a camp body for others to work against in drills. Although King did not survive final training camp cuts, he was immediately signed to the practice squad. Brandon was then promoted to the 53-man roster after Bradley Fletcher was released.
In the 2015 season King appeared in 13 games, strictly on special teams. He was on the field for 267 ST snaps, which ranked third behind only Nate Ebner and Matt Slater; his 12 ST tackles ranked second for the Pats.
King followed that surprise debut up by making the week one roster in 2016. In his first four seasons he played in 57 regular season games, missing only four games due to injuries. Brandon King has developed into a special team standout, on the field for 1,083 special team snaps. He has also appeared in all 11 of New England's playoff games during those four seasons, earning two Super Bowl rings. The Patriots rewarded King's performance by re-signing him to a two-year contract extension with a $400,00 signing bonus in 2018, and then another extension that places him under contract through 2021. A quad injury he first suffered in 2019 led to his being placed on PUP at the start of training camp, and he did not play for the Patriots at all in either 2019 or 2020 due to that injury. The feel-good story about a guy that managed to make it to the NFL may be nearing an end though. With the Patriots giving special team ace Cody Davis a healthy contract this past offseason, Brandon is facing an uphill battle to make it onto the 2021 roster.
Official New England Patriots Roster
VIew the official team roster of the New England Patriots.
Feb 4, 2018:
Super Bowl 2018: Brandon King's unusual NFL journey
Former Thompson High School and Auburn standout Brandon King will be playing for his second Super Bowl ring on Sunday.
March 8, 2018:
Brandon King's extension highlights challenging dynamic for restricted FAs
Patriots core special-teamer Brandon King chose stability and security over possibly making more money by playing things out as a free agent.
Dec 16, 2018:
Brandon King embraces special role in NFL
Brandon King didn't start a game at Auburn, but he's playing in his fourth NFL season.
May 17, 2019:
Brandon King signs contract extension with Patriots
The New England Patriots have signed Auburn alumnus Brandon King to a two-year contract extension.
April 14, 2021:
Patriots' Brandon King On OTAs: 'If Bill [Belichick] Tells Me To Report, I'm Reporting'
A movement is afoot in the NFL, as the players for the Broncos, Buccaneers and Seahawks -- at the urging of the NFLPA -- have chosen to not participate in their organized team activities (OTAs) this spring.