According to league sources, the Patriots will retain two of their veteran free agents this year. Both Tedy Bruschi and Kelley Washington have agreed to terms with the team. This is good news for New England, which faces significant questions at both positions.
Patriots Insider was able to confirm last night that free agent linebacker Tedy Bruschi agreed to terms on a multi-year deal with the Patriots. Bruschi, 34, will return to the same lineup he's been in since being selected by the team in the third round (86th overall) of the 1996 NFL Draft.
Concern over depth at the position gripped Patriot nation after the team released outside linebacker Rosevelt Colvin earlier in the week. Although Bruschi plays on the inside, lack of depth has been an issue for the team.
New England created a huge splash at the start of the 2007 free agent market by signing linebacker Adalius Thomas. Thomas played alongside Bruschi on the interior of the Patriots defense in 2007 until Colvin got hurt. When Colvin was placed on IR, Thomas moved to the outside, and Bruschi saw more action alongside fellow veteran Junior Seau.
In his 12-year career, Bruschi has managed 660 tackles (410 solo), 30.5 sacks, 30 passes defensed and 12 interceptions.
Washington, 28, joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent (Bengals) in 2007. He initially signed a multi-year deal with a $4 million option due this year. The Patriots opted not to pickup the option, but still wanted Washington back. A league source confirmed that both sides have reached a new deal to bring the talented receiver and special teams player back to Foxborough. Terms of the deal were not available.
Seau Has Surgery
The AP reported yesterday that Patriots free agent linebacker Junior Seau had off-season shoulder surgery to repair his left shoulder (Rotator cuff). Apparently the veteran defender suffered the injury during week four and played through the pain.
"I was caught in a wrong position. I just fell on it awkwardly," Seau told the AP. "I felt it and it didn't recover. So I had to deal with it. Every player has an injury during the course of the year. In order to get through it, you have to persevere. No 1, you have to make sure you're not a liability. Obviously that was not the case."
Seau is an unrestricted free agent. His status remains up in the air, though he did say he might consider returning for his 20th season if it was the right opportunity.
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound San Diego native played inside linebacker for the Patriots the past two seasons. After initially announcing his retirement in 2006, "graduation" as Seau called it, the veteran was talked into joining the Patriots for a chance at a Super Bowl ring. Though he has been unable to attain that goal, his time with the Patriots, Seau at least managed to make it to the Super Bowl, and came mere minutes of realizing his dream.
Patriots' running back Kevin Faulk was cleared of misdemeanor charges of possession of an illegal substance (marijuana) stemming from a routine search at a concert recently. The former LSU product told a local (Louisiana) paper that he spoke with coach Belichick to explain the situation.
According to reports, Faulk was stopped for possession of four marijuana cigarettes at a Lil'Wayne concert. Results from a drug test administered after the summons cleared Faulk and all charges have been dropped. According to the report, Faulk will not have to report to the leagues substance abuse program according to the report.
Be sure to tune into the Rumor Mill as PI continues to track free agent negotiations and other signings around the league. The Bruschi and Washington news was first reported on PI in the Rumor Mill yesterday.
Jon Scott has been a long time contributor to a number of publications on the Scout.com network including Patriots Insider, Warpaint Illustrated and The Orange and Brown Report. A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Jon has covered the NFL for over a decade appearing as a featured guest on numerous sites and radio programs around the country. You can reach him via this link: