FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have re-signed unrestricted free agent linebacker Tully Banta-Cain to a three-year contract.
Last season, Banta-Cain started in 10 of the 16 games he played and set a career-high with 10.0 sacks and 60 total tackles. He set a single-game high with a three sack performance in the Patriots' 17-10 victory at Buffalo (12/20).
Banta-Cain, 6-2, 250 pounds, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round (239th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft out of California. He played for the Patriots for four seasons from 2003-06, playing in 54 games with five starts over that period before being signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an unrestricted free agent on March 3, 2007. Banta-Cain played for the 49ers for two seasons (2007-08), playing in 28 games with 10 starts. After being released by San Francisco, he signed back with New England on Feb. 18, 2009.
For his career, Banta-Cain has played in 98 games with 25 starts and has recorded 187 tackles (121 solo), 22.5 sacks, one interception, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 71 special teams tackles. As a rookie in 2003, the Sunnyvale, Calif. native played in the final nine games of the regular season and had nine special teams tackles. He also appeared in two playoff games for the Patriots following the 2003 season, including Super Bowl XXXVIII. In 2004, he played in every regular-season and playoff game, and his 23 special teams tackles in the regular season ranked second on the team. In 2005, he played in 13 games and had 10 special teams tackles. In 2006, he played in every game for the Patriots and started five regular-season contests while making 40 tackles (27 solo) and finishing fourth on the team with 5.5 sacks. He started four of the final five regular-season games in 2006, after Mike Vrabel moved to inside linebacker following a season-ending injury to Junior Seau.