After only spending five weeks with the Patriots last season, Kenjon Barner wasn’t expecting to get a Super Bowl ring this year, so you can probably imagine his shock when a ring actually showed up at his door last week.
The ring was a total surprise for a player who was cut by the Patriots three different times last season. Barner originally signed with the Patriots in September, only to get released less than 10 days later without actually playing in a game. Barner wasn’t a free agent for long though, and that’s because the Patriots decided to re-sign him on Sept. 26. This time, Barner actually got to play for New England, and he made his 2018 debut with three carries for 11 yards during the Patriots’ 38-7 Week 4 win over the Dolphins.
If you follow the Patriots, then you know that Bill Belichick loves to churn the back end of his roster, and apparently Barner was his favorite player to churn last year. After making his debut against the Dolphins on Sept. 30, Barner was cut just four days later (Oct. 4).
The good news for Barner is that the Patriots ended up bringing him back on Oct. 8 and he ended up sticking around for four more games before being cut for good in November. During his five games on the active roster, Barner carried the ball 19 times for 71 yards.
For some teams, that might not be enough to earn a Super Bowl ring, but it was for the Patriots, who definitely didn’t have to give Barner a ring. Under NFL rules, the league will only provide money for up to 150 rings.
For Robert Kraft, that clearly wasn’t going to be enough, so the Patriots owner put in an order for 231 rings, according to The Athletic.
Although Barner wasn’t, he did get something in the mail on June 13 from Kraft.
Kraft had sent him a Super Bowl ring, which left the 29-year-old in shock. Barner shared his thoughts on Instagram, along with a picture of the ring.
“Just want to send out a huge thank you to everyone at the Patriots organization again for the opportunity that was given!” Barner wrote on Instagram. “Wasn’t expecting this when I got the call and still wasn’t expecting it when the ring was in my hands! Thank you, thank you, thank you, God is good!”
If that ring looks gaudy, it’s because it has 422 diamonds and 20 sapphires in it.
One interesting thing about Barner is that he actually already had a Super Bowl ring prior to this season.
The former Oregon running back won his first ring in 2017 when he was a part of an Eagles team that beat the Patriots. Clearly, the Patriots weren’t holding any grudges against Barner, who had three kick returns for 73 yards in Philadelphia’s 40-33 win.
With two Super Bowl rings in tow, Barner made a crazy decision and chose to give one away. Of course, he didn’t give it away to just anyone; he gave it to his dad for Father’s Day.