FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (March 24, 2006) -- After losing three key players from its championship teams in recent days, the New England Patriots re-signed receiver and fan favorite Troy Brown.
The team also re-signed offensive lineman Steve Neal. Terms of the deals weren't disclosed.
Brown, 34, has spent his entire career with the Patriots, who drafted him in 1993. His 514 career receptions rank second for the Patriots, 21 behind Stanley Morgan. Brown had 39 catches for 466 yards and two touchdowns last season.
The signing comes after a wave of high-profile departures this month, starting with wide receiver David Givens, who signed with the Tennessee Titans on March 14. Longtime linebacker Willie McGinest signed with the Cleveland Browns the next day. The Patriots then lost Adam Vinatieri, who kicked two Super Bowl winning field goals, when he signed with the Indianapolis Colts.
Brown played a significant role in New England's three title teams on offense, special teams and even defense. During the 2004 Super Bowl season, injuries in the secondary forced Brown to play nickel back for the final 12 games of the season, including three postseason wins.
Brown is the Patriots leading punt returner with 244 returns for 2,554 yards.
Neal, 28, made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2001. He's started the last 30 games at right guard.