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Charles Johnson, member of Patriots’ first Super Bowl team, dead at age 50

Related: Patriots legend Gino Cappelletti dead at 89

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Former NFL wide receiver Charles Johnson, who won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 2001 New England Patriots, has passed away. According to a report by CBS 17 in North Carolina, Johnson was found dead in a hotel room on Tuesday.

He was just 50 years old. No cause of death has yet been announced by the authorities.

Following a productive college career at Colorado, Johnson entered the NFL as the 17th overall selection in the 1994 draft. He spent his first five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, appearing in a combined 82 games and proving himself a reliable WR2 for the team.

Johnson later had a two-year stint with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the Patriots as a free agent in May 2001. He went on to make the 53-man roster as a rotational third option behind starters Troy Brown and David Patten, and eventually saw action in 14 regular season contests as well all three playoff games.

Along the way, Johnson caught a total of 16 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. Two of his receptions for 22 yards came in New England’s upset win in the AFC Championship over Johnson’s former team, the Steelers.

He did not record any stats the next week in Super Bowl XXXVI, but nonetheless earned himself a championship ring.

After his one-year tenure as a Patriot, Johnson joined the Buffalo Bills for one more year before retiring from the NFL. He later went on to serve as assistant athletic director at Heritage High School in Wake Forest N.C. — a job he held until his death.

Johnson is now the fourth member of the 2001 Patriots to pass away. Cornerback Leonard Myers died in 2017 from cancer, while defensive lineman Kenyatta Jones suffered a fatal cardiac arrest the following year. In 2021, the aforementioned David Patten was killed in a traffic accident.