SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The New England Patriots signed cornerback Jimmy Hitchcock today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hitchcock, 31, has recorded 19 interceptions during his seven-year playing career and has accumulated 545 yards (28.7 avg.) and five touchdowns. He has also added 357 tackles, two sacks, forced four fumbles and recovered one fumble. During the 1998 season with the Minnesota Vikings, he recorded career-highs in interceptions (7), interception return yardage (242), touchdowns (3) and pass defenses (30).
The 5-foot-10-inch, 187-pound cornerback was originally a third round (88th overall) draft pick by the New England Patriots in 1995. He played in 36 games during his three seasons with the Patriots (1995-97) and totaled 120 tackles and four interceptions. He still holds the Patriots franchise record for the longest interception return, 100 yards vs. Miami (11/23/97). He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings on April 18, 1998 for a third round draft pick. Hitchcock started all 32 games with the Vikings from 1998-99 and recorded 158 tackles and nine interceptions. He then signed as an unrestricted free agent with the Carolina Panthers and played in 32 games with nine starts from 2000-01. He collected 79 tackles and six interceptions while with the Panthers.