FOXBORO, Mass. – The New England Patriots signed defensive end Bobby Hamilton and re-signed restricted free agent defensive end Brandon Mitchell.
Hamilton, 29, started 11 of 54 games during his career, playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. He has recorded 118 tackles (81 solos), including 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and five passes defended during his career. In 1999, he played in seven games and recorded 11 defensive tackles, as well as, four special teams stops with the New York Jets.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 280-pound defensive lineman was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie free agent in 1994. He was placed on injured reserve and missed the entire season. Hamilton returned to the Seahawks, but was released during 1995 training camp. He spent the 1996 season in the World League (now NFL Europe) with the Amsterdam Admirals and recorded 30 tackles, including five sacks.
He signed with the Jets prior to the 1996 season and played in 15 games, including 11 starts at defensive end. He finished second on the team with 4.5 sacks and also had 57 tackles (44 solos), two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. In both 1997 and 1998, Hamilton played in all 16 games with the Jets, registering 24 tackles, including one sack in 1997, and 27 tackles in 1998.
Mitchell, 25, has totaled 91 tackles (65 solos), five sacks and one fumble recovery during his three seasons with the Patriots. In 1999, he started all 16 games for the Patriots at left defensive end and amassed 61 total tackles (9th on the team), including three sacks (tied for 4th). Both totals represented career-highs for Mitchell. He was also one of six defensive players to start every game, forming a defensive unit that finished the season ranked eighth in the NFL, the highest defensive ranking by the Patriots in 11 years.
The 6-foot-3-inch, 285-pound defensive end was drafted in the second round (59th overall) in the 1997 NFL draft. Mitchell's first two NFL sacks were against future Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Dan Marino. He appeared in 14 games as a rookie, including both playoff games and finished the season with nine tackles, including six solo stops. In 1998, he played in each of the first seven games of the season, earning his first start in the seventh game of the season, at Miami (10/24). Unfortunately, Mitchell missed the remainder of the 1998 season after being placed on injured reserve (10/30).