Drew McQueen Bledsoe (born February 14, 1972) is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for 14 seasons, primarily with the New England Patriots. He played college football at Washington State, where he won Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, and was selected by the Patriots first overall in the 1993 NFL Draft. Considered the face of the Patriots franchise during his nine seasons with the team, Bledsoe helped improve New England's fortunes from 1993 to 2001. Under Bledsoe, the Patriots ended a seven-year postseason drought, qualified for the playoffs four times, clinched their division twice, and made a Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXXI. He was also named to three Pro Bowls and became the youngest quarterback to play in the NFL's all-star game with his 1995 appearance.
Following a period of declining success and two consecutive seasons in which the Patriots missed the playoffs, Bledsoe suffered a near-fatal injury early in the 2001 season that led to backup Tom Brady becoming the team's starter. He was unable to regain his starting position for the remainder of the season due to Brady's success, which led to the Patriots winning their first championship in Super Bowl XXXVI and began a dynasty for the franchise. Bledsoe subsequently played three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, where he made a fourth Pro Bowl appearance, and his final two with the Dallas Cowboys.
While his tenure with the Patriots would be eclipsed by Brady, Bledsoe is recognized for helping rebuild the franchise and his role during their first Super Bowl-winning season when he relieved an injured Brady to help win the 2001 AFC Championship. For his accomplishments in New England, he was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2011.