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May 6 in Pats History: Rodney Harrison

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Today in Patriots History
Rodney Harrison

May 6, 2019:
The New England Patriots announce that Rodney Harrison has been elected to the Pats Hall of Fame. The Sunday Night Football analyst won the 2019 fan voting over Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel.

The strong safety spent the final six seasons of his 15-year NFL career with the Pats after playing in San Diego for nine years. He admirably filled a large void on the defense when Lawyer Milloy was released as a cap casualty at the start of the 2003 season. Rodney played a key role in the Patriots winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles in his first two seasons in Foxborough.

Rodney Harrison was a clutch performer, with an incredible seven interceptions in nine playoff games with the Pats - including two in Super Bowl 39. Those seven postseason interceptions are tied for the third-most in NFL history. In his first two seasons in New England, Harrison was not only the team's leading tackler each year, he also led all NFL defensive backs in tackles in both seasons. Rodney was also the leading tackler in the '03 and '04 postseasons, while registering two sacks, six interceptions, seven passes deflections and two forced fumbles in those six games.

Harrison is the all-time NFL leader in sacks by a defensive back with 30½, including nine while with the Pats. He is the only defensive back in NFL history with 30 sacks and 30 interceptions, with eight of those picks coming during his Patriots career. Rodney was voted a team captain in each of his six seasons with the Patriots and is a member of the New England Patriots All-Decade Team of the 2000s.



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Today in Patriots History
May 6 Patriot Birthdays

Happy 33rd birthday to Marcus Cannon
Born May 6, 1988 in Odessa, Texas
Patriot OT, 2011-2020; uniform #61
Pats 5th round (138th overall) selection of the 2011 draft, from TCU

On April 20, 2011, just days before Texas Christian offensive line prospect Marcus Cannon was to enter the NFL Draft, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a treatable form of cancer found in lymph tissue. A little more than one week later, the Pats selected Cannon in the fifth round (138th overall) of the draft with the knowledge of his illness. The Patriots placed Cannon on the Reserve/Non Football Injury list to start the 2011 season while he received treatment and recovered. Cannon was activated to the 53-man roster later that year and is now set to enter his ninth season with the team.

Cannon made a full recovery and was named the Patriots 2011 Ed Block Courage Award winner - an annual award presented to select players in the National Football League who are voted by their teammates as role models of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.

Marcus Cannon proceeded to play in 115 regular season games with 69 starts: 64 at right tackle, three at left guard, and two at left tackle. He has also played in 19 playoff games, with the Pats going 14-5 in those contests - and has earned three Super Bowl rings.

The draft picks used for Cannon and Stevan Ridley were acquired in draft day trade with Houston. In exchange the Texans received a second round (60th overall) pick used on safety Brandon Harris - who has been out of the league since 2014, after a 42-game career with zero starts. On March 17 New England traded Marcus, a 5th and 6th round draft pick to Houston in exchange for a 4th and 6th; doing so allows Cannon to finish his NFL career closer to home.


Happy 50th birthday to Derwin Williams
Born May 6, 1961 in Brownwood, Texas
Patriot WR, 1984-1987; uniform #82
Pats 7th round (192nd overall) selection of the 1984 draft, from New Mexico

Williams appeared in 42 regular season games plus two playoff games with the Pats. He had 14 receptions for 228 yards, went on to become a Loss Prevention Supervisor for CVS in Rhode Island. Williams moved to Florida to give his son more time to play baseball (he is now with the Mets), and became a football official in Conference USA.

Happy 57th birthday to Mike "Scooter" McGruder
Born May 6, 1964 in Cleveland
Patriot CB, 1996-1997; uniform #27
Signed as a veteran free agent on April 5, 1996

The final two of his nine NFL seasons were in Foxboro, where McGruder played in 17 games. Scooter was on the Patriot AFC Championship team that lost to Green Bay in the Super Bowl. Previously he had been with the Packers, Dolphins, 49ers and Bucs.

Happy 50th birthday to Rob Holmberg
Born May 6, 1971 in McKeesport, PA
Patriot LB, 2000-2001; uniform #47
Signed as a veteran free agent on July 23, 2000

Rob Holmberg appeared in all 16 games for the Pats in 2000, with five starts, plus two more games in October of 2001. Overall Holmberg played in 112 games over eight NFL seasons with seven different teams, almost exclusively as a special teamer and backup MLB.

Happy 56th birthday to Howard Feggins
Born May 6, 1965 in South Hill, Virginia
Patriot CB, 1988-1989; uniform #27
Signed as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 3, 1988, from UNC

Feggins appeared in eleven games with the Pats in '89, with one interception. He also played in NFL Europe and the CFL, and since then has worked as a college assistant coach.

Happy 30th birthday to Josh Boyce
Born May 6, 1991 in Copperas Cove, Texas
Patriot WR, 2013-2014; uniform #82
Pats 4th round (102nd overall) selection of the 2013 draft, from TCU

As a rookie Boyce played in nine games, returning 21 kickoffs and catching nine passes on 19 targets for 121 yards. He spent most of 2014 on the practice squad, activated for the final regular season game with no stats; he was a healthy inactive for all three playoff games. Boyce was IR-waived at the end of the 2015 training camp. He spent most of the 2016 off-season with Indy before being cut after the first preseason game. Boyce spent 2016 on Cleveland's practice squad and was cut at the end of training camp in 2017. He has not played any pro football since then.

His final NFL stat line (all with the Pats) reads 10 games played, 9 receptions on 19 targets for 121 yards (13.4 ypc) with a long of 30 yards, and zero touchdowns. Boyce also had nine kickoff returns for 214 yards (23.8 ypr) with a long of 41, for a total of 335 all-purpose yards.

On a side note, he draft picks used on Boyce, Jamie Collins and Logan Ryan were obtained from Minnesota in exchange for New England's first round pick, which the Vikings used on future Patriot Cordarrelle Patterson. More trivia: Boyce's high school quarterback was Robert Griffin.


Happy 35th birthday to Markus Kuhn
Born May 6, 1986 in Weinheim, Germany
Patriot DT, 2016 offseason; uniform #94
Signed as a veteran free agent on April 7, 2016

Kuhn was with the Pats in the 2016 off season, but was let go as part of final roster cuts in early September. He had previously played with the Giants for four seasons, but never seemed to fully overcome a 2015 knee injury.

May 6, 2016: Patriots sign UDFA Jonathan Jones
Jonathan Jones, 22, was a four-year starter at cornerback for Auburn, who finished his career with 129 total tackles and seven interceptions. The 5-foot-10, 181-pounder, ranked ninth nationally as a junior in 2014 with six interceptions.
Jonathan Jones is always in a hurry. Whether it’s on the football field or away from it.

So when the Auburn cornerback, who was projected to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick in the NFL Draft, didn’t hear his name called last month, he got over it. In a hurry.

Shortly after Mr. Irrelevant was revealed at last month’s three-day draft, Joseph, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash among cornerbacks at the NFL Scouting Combine, wasted little time sifting through his offers and picking the Patriots.

“There were some teams I was talking to, but I think once I got the chance to talk with the coaches and talk with everyone in this organization, I knew this would be a great spot for me,’’ Jones said Thursday. “They preach here that you get what you earn here, so it’s kind of one of those places that as long as you put the hard work and dedication in, you’ll get the result.’’

Two other pro football players born on this date with New England connections:

George Tarasovic (May 6, 1930-Oct 24, 2019)
Bridgeport CT; Boston College
DE spent 13 seasons in the NFL, playing in 155 games, primarily with the Steelers.

John 'Kid' Hill (May 6, 1904-Dec 3, 1973)
Brighton MA; Portland (Maine) Prep; Amherst College
Tackle with the Giants back in the twenties.