The New England Patriots are just 92 days from kicking off the quest to defend their Super Bowl title. In continuing with the off-season “Days to Kickoff” series, we here at Last Word on Pro Football are looking back at the greatest players in franchise history, by jersey number. New England doesn’t have the best history with the number 92, but they had two solid contributors with Ray Agnew and Ferric Collons.
92 Days to Kickoff: Ray Agnew and Ferric Collons
Ray Agnew was on some bad Patriots teams, but he was one of the teams’ better players in the early 90’s. The North Carolina State product arrived in New England as the 10th overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft. Agnew appeared in 12 games as a rookie, making 10 starts while recording 2.5 sacks and 52 combined tackles.
Over the course of his five years in New England, Agnew recorded 7.5 sacks, 208 tackles, and two fumble recoveries in 66 games. Agnew’s best season came in 1992 when he recorded one sack and 61 tackles in 14 starts. Agnew wasn’t a superstar, but he was a solid contributor during his five seasons in New England. Unfortunately, he often gets overlooked since he only played for one winning roster.
Following his five-year stint in New England, Agnew latched on with the New York Giants. During his three years in New York, Agnew recorded 3.5 sacks, 104 tackles, and one interception. Angew latched on with the St. Louis Rams prior to the 1998 season. The former first-round pick spent three seasons with the Rams and was a 12-game starter on the Super Bowl 33 championship squad.
Ray Agnew retired following the 2000 season but remained a part of the NFL landscape. The North Carolina State product joined the scouting business and is currently the Rams Director of Pro Personnel. While he still impacts the NFL landscape, Agnew finished his playing career with 22.5 sacks, 448 tackles, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles in 157 games.
Agnew left following the 1994 season, and the club immediately assigned his old number to defensive end Ferric Collons. The California product was an undrafted free agent and faced long odds to make the 53-man roster. However, Collons overcame those odds and was actually a key player for the 1995 Patriots. The rookie appeared in all 16 games, earning four starts while recording four sacks and 21 tackles.
Collons remained a valuable part of New England’s defensive line rotation during their 1996 AFC championship season. Appearing in 15 games and earning five starts, Collons recorded two forced fumbles, 0.5 sacks, and 19 tackles. He earned a full-time starting job in 1997, but only played in five games.
Collons returned to the field in 1998 but never found his rookie form. Despite starting 13 games in 1998, Collons didn’t record a single sack and finished the year with just 26 tackles. The coaching staff made Collons a role player in 1999, appearing in 14 games without recording a start. The 30-year old finished the year with two sacks and 26 tackles and never played another snap in the NFL.
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