Drew McQueen Bledsoe is a former American football quarterback who played fourteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL). Bledsoe is best known as the starting quarterback for the New England Patriots from 1993 to 2001. He also played for the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys. During the 1990s, he was considered the face of the Patriots franchise.
The first overall pick in 1993 NFL Draft, Bledsoe helped improve the fortunes of the Patriots, who had fallen on hard times. Under his tenure as starting quarterback, the Patriots ended an eight-season postseason drought, qualified for the playoffs six times, and made one Super Bowl appearance. In his second season with the team, he was named to the 1995 Pro Bowl and was the youngest quarterback to appear in the NFL's all-star game at the time.
Following a period of declining success and two consecutive seasons where the Patriots missed the playoffs, Bledsoe suffered a near-fatal injury early in the 2001 season and was replaced as starter by Tom Brady. He was unable to regain his starting position after he was medically cleared to play due to Brady's success with the team, which culminated with the franchise's first Super Bowl win. Bledsoe then retired after short stints with the Bills and the Cowboys. For his accomplishments in New England, he was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2011.
Since his retirement, Drew has returned to his hometown roots to plant Flying B Vineyards outside of Walla Walla and has plans to release a premium Walla Walla Valley wine brand with his childhood friend, leading winemaker and consultant Chris Figgins. In the fall of 2007 he started Bledsoe Capital Group, a private investment firm and in January of 2008 launched a specialty coffee roasting company, Eleven Roasters.
Drew currently lives in Bend, Oregon with his wife Maura and their four children. He is actively involved with his family, in the community and with many philanthropic organizations.
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