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Patriots sign DBs Shawn Springs & Leigh Bodden

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed veteran defensive backs Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden today. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Shawn Springs, 33, is a veteran of 12 NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (1997-2003) and Washington Redskins (2004-08). The 6-foot, 204-pound cornerback has played in 157 career games with 147 starts and has made 662 tackles (568 solo), 8.5 sacks, 32 interceptions for 421 yards and two touchdowns, 137 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries for 85 yards and a touchdown. Springs is one of 17 active players with 30 or more career interceptions and has recorded at least one interception in each of his 12 NFL seasons. Springs was named to the Pro Bowl following the 1998 season. He is the only defensive back in NFL history to lead his team in sacks and interceptions in the same season, achieving the feat with the Redskins in 2004. Last season, he played in nine games with seven starts for the Redskins and had 36 tackles (33 solo), one sack, one interception and eight passes defensed.

The Ohio State product was originally selected by the Seahawks in the first round (third overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft and played in 93 games with 88 starts over seven seasons in Seattle (1997-2003). After starting 10 games as a rookie in 1997, he had a breakout year in 1998 when he started every game and recorded a career-high seven interceptions. He scored three touchdowns in 1998, including two interception returns for touchdowns and a fumble return for a touchdown. He started every game again in 1999 and led the Seahawks with five interceptions. In 2000, he started every game for the third straight season and had a career-high 85 tackles along with a pair of interceptions.

Springs was signed by the Redskins as an unrestricted free agent on March 4, 2004 and played in 64 games with 52 starts over five seasons in Washington (2004-08). In his debut season with the Redskins, Springs led the team in sacks (6) and interceptions (5), becoming the first defensive back in NFL history to achieve the feat. He is one of just five players in league history to do it, joining Junior Seau (San Diego, 1997), Joey Porter (Pittsburgh, 2002), Adalius Thomas (Baltimore, 2005) and Jason Taylor (Miami, 2006). Springs' six sacks in 2004 led all NFL defensive backs. In 2005, he started all 15 games in which he appeared and recorded 51 tackles and an interception. In 2006, he played in nine games with eight starts and was placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury (12/26/06). He played in all 16 games in 2007 and made 14 starts while finishing second on the team with four interceptions and fourth on the club with 72 tackles.

Leigh Bodden, 27, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2003-07) and Detroit Lions (2008). The 6-foot-1-inch, 193-pound cornerback has played in 75 career games with 53 starts and has recorded 287 tackles (212 solo), 13 interceptions for 132 yards, 56 passes defensed, six forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 30 special teams tackles. Last season with Detroit, Bodden played in 16 games with 15 starts and tied for fifth on the team with 80 tackles (68 solo). Additionally, he tied for the team lead with three forced fumbles and also tied the club best with two fumble recoveries. Bodden was acquired by the Lions from the Browns on March 1, 2008 along with a 2008 third-round draft pick in exchange for defensive tackle Shaun Rogers. Bodden was released by the Lions on Feb. 9, 2009.

The Hyattsville, Md. native spent the first five years of his career with Cleveland after being signed by the Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent from Duquense on May 2, 2003. In his first two NFL seasons, Bodden appeared in 21 games with two starts, recording a total of 21 tackles, one interception and 29 special teams tackles. In 2005, he earned a spot as a full-time starter, playing in 13 games with 11 starts and had 59 tackles while tying for the team lead with three interceptions and pacing the club with 20 passes defened. He was limited to nine starts in 2006 due to an ankle injury, but still recorded 35 tackles, two interceptions and 11 passes defensed. In 2007, he started every game and led the Browns with a career-high six interceptions and also set a personal best with 92 tackles.

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