Patriots' unsung hero of Super Bowl 51 retires at just 25

Patriots' unsung hero of Super Bowl 51 retires at just 25

Remember Malcolm Mitchell from Super Bowl 51? 

The Patriots wide receiver helped the team to its 31-28 overtime comeback win after catching six passes for 70 yards versus the Falcons — five of which were in the fourth quarter as New England cut a 28-3 halftime deficit.

But now, after just a few seasons in the NFL, Mitchell is retiring.

Mitchell, 25, made the announcement at his alma mater Friday during a series of TED Talks

The former Georgia Bulldog was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round as the 112th overall pick of the 2016 draft. He caught 32 passes for 401 yards and four touchdowns during his rookie campaign, which would be his only active year in the league.

Mitchell was placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury in 2017. He again battled his health in 2018 and was eventually waived by New England. 

In January, Mitchell spoke to ESPN while he was undergoing rehab for his knee and hoped to return. The injury called for Mitchell’s 10th surgery.

“I’m still motivated. I’m still encouraged,” Mitchell said. “I’m recovering — the last surgery totaled out to be No. 10, and it takes a little while to come back from it, but I am working my way back.”

Instead, he will focus on a new career: writing.

Mitchell published a children’s book, The Magician’s Hat, in 2015 and said at his TED Talk, “he embraced the challenge to improve his reading skills and … is prepared to yet again be the coffee bean in this new chapter of his life” — an analogy he took from his mother.