YEARS WITH PATRIOTS 2000-present; selected in 6th round (199th overall) of 2000 NFL Draft
BIRTHDAY August 3, 1977
HOMETOWN San Mateo, California
CONTRACT NUMBERS Signed 4-year extension in September 2010 worth $72 million ($48.5 million guaranteed), making him NFL’s highest-paid player at time. Earned $20 million last year. Restructured deal earlier this season.
WORST INJURY Torn ACL and MCL in September 2008; missed remainder of season. Fans worried he’d never be same, but he came back better.
MOST IMPRESSIVE NFL RECORD Most touchdown passes in single season (50) in 2007. And doesn’t hurt that he passed Peyton Manning to set the mark.
MOST EMBARRASSING PHOTO Tie between the looks-like-a-girl water slide shot and GQ spread with baby goat in arms.
BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENTS Three Super Bowl rings, 2 Super Bowl MVP awards, 2 NFL MVP wins, and 1 supermodel wife.
BACKUP SPORTS CAREER OPTION Catcher, not thrower, as professional baseball player. Picked by Montreal Expos in 18th round of 1995 Major League draft.
> DREW BLEDSOE
YEARS WITH PATRIOTS 1993-2001; selected No. 1 overall in 1993 draft
BIRTHDAY February 14, 1972
HOMETOWN Walla Walla, Washington
CONTRACT NUMBERS Signed 10-year, $103 million contract in March 2001, setting record at time for biggest NFL player payout.
WORST INJURY Torn blood vessel in chest during 2d game of 2001 season that led to internal bleeding. The injury changed the course of Patriots history. Then-backup Brady took over team, and Bledsoe never started again for New England.
MOST QUESTIONABLE PLAY CALL Stage dive into mosh pit during Everclear concert at Boston’s Paradise Club in November 1997. Resulting lawsuit reportedly cost Bledsoe $400,000.
POST-FOOTBALL CAREER After retiring in 2007, started Doubleback winery in Washington state, naming business for how he doubled back to where he grew up.
HOW HE DID BUSINESS WITH CURT SCHILLING AND CAME OUT AHEAD Sold his 20-room dream mansion in Medfield to the Red Sox pitcher. Property was originally listed for $9 million. Schilling bragged he bought it for considerably less.
> DOUG FLUTIE
YEARS WITH PATRIOTS 1987-1989 and 2005
BIRTHDAY October 23, 1962
HOMETOWN Natick (born in Maryland)
CONTRACT NUMBERS Donald Trump reportedly gave Flutie $7 million over 5 years to sign with US Football League’s New Jersey Generals out of Boston College. Made nearly $800,000 during final season with Pats.
MOST MEMORABLE PATRIOTS PLAY Converted NFL’s 1st successful drop kick since 1941 for 4th-quarter extra point against Miami Dolphins. Got coach Bill Belichick to smile. Still, score can’t compare with 48-yard Hail Mary pass to upset University of Miami in 1984.
WHY HE KEPT EYE ON PATS SIDELINE LAST SEASON Daughter Alexa waved her pompoms as a Patriots cheerleader in 2011. No nepotism here. Alexa didn’t make cut during 4 previous tryouts.
EXTRACURRICULARS Many, including musician. Plays drums in Flutie Brothers Band.
BREAKFAST OF A CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE CHAMPION Flutie Flakes. Portion of profits goes to Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism, named in honor of his autistic son.
BEST LOCAL TRIBUTE TO FOOTBALL SUCCESS Flutie Pass, short stretch of road near Natick Mall that’s nod to his famous Hail Mary.
> STEVE GROGAN
YEARS WITH PATRIOTS 1975-1990; selected in 5th round (116th overall) in 1975 draft and became longest-tenured New England player
BIRTHDAY July 24, 1953
HOMETOWN Ottawa, Kansas (born in Texas)
CONTRACT NUMBERS Paid $25,000 his rookie year. Never reached million dollars during his career.
WORST INJURY Tough call, especially because he played through so many. Five knee surgeries for cartilage damage and bone chips, 2 separated shoulders, 2 broken legs, herniated disk in his neck, for starters.
BIG NUMBERS Upon retirement, Grogan held franchise records for career passing yardage (26,886), passing touchdowns (182). Then came guys named Bledsoe and Brady. Held single-season NFL record for rushing touchdowns by quarterback (12) until 2011.
HOW HE’S BRADY-LIKE Took over for injured top draft pick Jim Plunkett to earn starting job.
POST-FOOTBALL CAREER Owner of Grogan-Marciano sporting goods store in Mansfield. Given Grogan’s well-deserved reputation as one of NFL’s toughest players, fitting that boxer Rocky Marciano’s brother started business.
> JIM PLUNKETT
YEARS WITH PATRIOTS 1971-1975; selected No. 1 overall in 1971 draft
BIRTHDAY December 5, 1947
HOMETOWN San Jose, California
CONTRACT NUMBERS As Pats rookie, asked for 4-year deal worth $400,000. Team offered 4-year deal worth $225,000. Reportedly signed for amount in middle.
PROMISING START Added NFL Rookie of the Year honors to Heisman Trophy from senior year at Stanford. Injuries, including handful of shoulder and knee surgeries, derailed his Patriots career before it gathered momentum.
POST-PATRIOTS SUCCESS Left New England and found way to Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders. Led Raiders to Super Bowl wins in 1981 and 1984. In first Super Bowl victory, earned Super Bowl MVP.
MOST UNIQUE CAREER MEMORABILIA Featured on 1st set of Braille football cards, collectible close to his heart with blind mother and visually impaired father.
SAUCY SIDE Started line of condiments for tailgate parties. Products include Plunkett’s Gourmet Mustard, Plunkett’s Smokin’ Barbecue Sauce, Plunkett’s Kickin’ Hot Salsa. Bottle labels feature drawing of Plunkett from his playing days.Shira Springer is a sports reporter for the Globe. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.