Former Patriots and Chargers Receiver Reche Caldwell Killed in Florida Shooting

The former NFL receiver was only 41 years old

Reche Caldwell Dead
Reche Caldwell makes a turn up field during the 4th quarter as the San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders by a score of 27 to 14 on, October 16, 2005.
Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary

Former New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Reche Caldwell was killed in a shooting on Saturday night in his hometown of Tampa, Florida. His mother confirmed the receiver’s passing to TMZ, while police confirmed to ESPN that there was a homicide related to his death, though they did not provide details on whether that is how Caldwell died.

Caldwell had been living in Tampa since retiring from the NFL in 2008, after a training camp stint with the St. Louis Rams failed to earn him a regular season roster spot. He’s perhaps most famous for his time with the Patriots, though not for the best of reasons.

As pointed out by ESPN, Caldwell dropped some key passes during the 2007 AFC Championship Game, a game that the Patriots lost to the Indianapolis Colts 38-34. He never really found his footing again after that game, spending a year with Washington before retiring.

In 2016, his brother Andre told ESPN the Magazine that the game had haunted him even after his time in the NFL, which included a stint in prison in 2014 for drug possession and a charge of health care fraud just this year. He was due to be sentenced this June.

In his career, Caldwell played in 71 games, amassing 1,851 yards and 11 touchdowns. Despite the bitter ending to the 2006-2007 season, that was his best year in the league, leading the Patriots in receiving yards with 760, to go along with four touchdowns.

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