FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed cornerback Jason Webster today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Patriots also placed rookie linebacker Shawn Crable on the reserve/injured list. Crable will miss the remainder of the 2008 season with a shin injury.
Webster, 31, is a veteran of eight NFL seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2000-03), Atlanta Falcons (2004-06) and Buffalo Bills (2007). He was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on March 3, 2008, and was released by New England on Aug. 26, 2008. The 5-foot-9-inch, 187-pound cornerback has played in 87 career games with 74 starts and has recorded 393 tackles (324 solo), 11 interceptions for 228 yards and two touchdowns, 56 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He has also played in three career playoff games with two starts for San Francisco (2001) and Atlanta (2004). Webster was originally selected by the 49ers in the second round (48th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Texas A&M. He played four seasons in San Francisco, appearing in 53 games with 44 starts over that period. As a rookie in 2000, Webster played in every game with 10 starts and finished the year with 44 tackles and a pair of interceptions, including one returned 70 yards for a touchdown. Over the next two seasons (2001-02), he started every game for the 49ers, totaling 75 tackles and a career-high three interceptions in 2001, while tallying 86 tackles and an interception (returned 37 yards for a touchdown) in 2002. His streak of 41 straight starts ended when he missed the first nine games of the 2003 season due to a knee injury, but he came back to play in five games that season and totaled seven tackles and an interception. Webster was signed by the Falcons as an unrestricted free agent on March 5, 2004, and spent the next three seasons in Atlanta, playing in 33 games with 29 starts in that time. In his first season with the Falcons in 2004, Webster played in 10 games with nine starts and had 40 tackles, one interception and led the club with 10 passes defensed. He set a career high with 91 tackles in 2005, playing in 15 games with 13 starts that year. In 2006, his final season with Atlanta, Webster started seven of eight games and had 47 tackles and a pair of interceptions before being placed on the reserve/injured list with a groin injury on Dec. 30, 2006. The Houston native was signed by the Bills as an unrestricted free agent on May 21, 2007. In his lone season in Buffalo, Webster played in one game, starting in the Bills' season opener against Denver, but was placed on the reserve/injured list with an arm injury on Sept. 13, 2007, and missed the remainder of the season. Webster will wear number 23 for the Patriots.
Crable, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the third round (78th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan. The 6-foot-5-inch, 243-pound linebacker was listed as a day-of-game inactive for each of the Patriots' eight games this season. At Michigan, he played in 47 games with 20 starts and tied for 10th in school history with 148 career tackles (101 solo).