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Patriots sign 43-year-old Testaverde

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Nov. 14, 2006) -- Vinny Testaverde, who came out of retirement last season to help out the New York Jets, was signed by the New England Patriots.

The 43-year-old quarterback, the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1987 draft, has played 19 NFL seasons and has 269 touchdown passes, eighth in NFL history, and is sixth with 45,252 yards passing.

He becomes the third quarterback on the Patriots roster, behind Tom Brady and second-year man Matt Cassel.

The Patriots will be his sixth team.

In addition to the Buccaneers, he has played for Cleveland, Baltimore, the Jets and Dallas. He retired after playing with the Dallas Cowboys in 2004, but last season rejoined the Jets, for whom he played from 1998-2003.

Testaverde, who started four games for the Jets last season, became the first player in NFL history to throw at least one touchdown pass in 19 consecutive seasons. He completed 60 of 106 passes for 777 yards with one touchdown and six interceptions.

The Associated Press News Service

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