Questionable moves in Patriots history
Frank O'Brien / Globe File Photo
The man Howard Cosell famously coined the "all-world tight end" spent his first six seasons in New England, and two more on the back end of his career in 1987-88, pulling in 207 receptions for 3,157 yards, and 28 touchdowns. Francis, a three-time Pro Bowler with New England, left pro football at age 28 to become a pro wrestler and do some announcing for ABC during the 1981 season. Francis said the Patriots refused to give him his promised bonus for making the Pro Bowl, something that led to his decision to temporarily retire from the NFL before joining the San Francisco 49ers in 1982. Francis won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the 1984 49ers championship team.