Super Bowl Champion coach Bill Belichick once described Ted Johnson by saying: “It goes without saying, but Ted Johnson is a class act. He retires a champion.”
An integral part of the New England Patriots’ legendary, stifling defense, Ted Johnson spent ten successful seasons as a linebacker for the Pats. Since making his NFL debut as a rookie in the 1995 Patriots’ season opener, Johnson has set himself apart as a leader on and off the field. He made the transition from college to pro in his first NFL season with ease, starting each of the 12 games he played. He also earned All-Rookie Team honors from Pro Football Weekly, College and Pro Football Newsweekly and the Football News. Since then, Johnson has amassed 755 tackles (526 solos), including 11.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries during his career. He was an important part of each of the Patriots’ three Super Bowl Championships (in 2002, 2003, and 2005), one of only a handful of players to play in all three. A lifelong Patriot, Johnson had the opportunity to sign with Green Bay in 2002 for more compensation but declined to do so, preferring to stay with his teammates and coaches in New England. Before his retirement, Ted Johnson was known throughout the league as a fierce competitor with unmatched toughness. Johnson‘s character, selflessness, and professionalism never wavered, and he became recognized as one of the leaders on a team known for its discipline and strong work ethic.
A native of Alameda, California, Ted Johnson attended Carlsbad High and the school named their high school weight room after him. He later attended the University of Colorado, where he was a communications major, and finished second in school history with 471 tackles. A senior first-team All-American, Ted was a second-round pick by the Patriots in the 1995 NFL Draft. He often recalls how he watched the draft nervously from his family’s restaurant in Texas, having played golf earlier in the morning to wile away any worries about the process.
In his spare time, Ted enjoys playing golf and reading. He also devotes his time to several charities, including Friends Way, the Joshua Frase Foundation, Special Olympics, the Rose Fund, Best Buddies, and Children’s Hospital of Boston, where he can often be found visiting children in the cancer ward. Johnson is on the advisory committee for the Real Institute at the Family Institute of Cambridge, as well as the board of Penikese Island School for Boys. He is also an excellent speaker, having been the Patriots’ Player Representative for three years, a spokesman for the United Way for two years, and a sports analyst for CBS4 in Boston.
Ted and his wife Jackie are happily married and reside near Boston with their four children.