FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots signed free agent quarterback Doug Flutie today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The former Boston College signal caller returns to New England, where he played in 17 games with 13 starts for the Patriots from 1987-89.
"We are pleased with the signing of Doug Flutie," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. "He brings us additional veteran experience and depth at the quarterback position."
Flutie, 42, is entering his 12th NFL season and his 21st season in professional football. The 5-foot-10-inch, 180-pound signal caller has thrown for 58,150 yards in his professional career, a total that includes stints in the USFL (1985) and CFL (1990-97) and also ranks third in football history, trailing only Warren Moon (70,325 yards) and Dan Marino (61,361). The 1984 Heisman Trophy winner has played in 87 games in his NFL career with 66 starts and has compiled a record of 38-28 (.576) as a starter, including a 23-9 (.719) mark in home games. His NFL statistics include 2,141 attempts with 1,172 completions (54.7 percent) for 14,686 yards and 86 touchdowns.
Flutie's 11-year NFL tenure includes stints with Chicago (1986-87), New England (1987-89), Buffalo (1998-2000) and San Diego (2001-04). His first professional experience came with the New Jersey Generals of the USFL in 1985. Flutie also spent eight seasons (1990-97) in the Canadian Football League, where he helped his teams win three Grey Cup titles and was named the league's most outstanding player a CFL-record six times. He was selected as the most valuable player in all three of his teams' Grey Cup victories. His CFL tenure included stints with the B.C. Lions (1990-91), Calgary Stampeders (1992-95) and Toronto Argonauts (1996-97).
The former Natick (Mass.) High School star was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the 11th round (285th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft following a Boston College career that saw him graduate as the NCAA's all-time passing yardage leader with 10,579 yards. He spent the 1985 season on the Rams' developmental squad and played in 15 games in the USFL before his NFL rights were traded from Los Angeles to Chicago midway through the 1986 season. Flutie signed with the Bears on Oct. 21, 1986 and played in five games with Chicago before being traded to the Patriots on Oct. 13, 1987 in exchange for an eighth-round selection in the 1988 NFL Draft
. Flutie's first tenure with the Patriots (1987-89) was highlighted by a 1988 season during which he started nine games, including a stretch of six wins in an eight-game span, earning him the team's "unsung hero" award. After starting three games for New England in 1989, Flutie joined the CFL, where he spent the next eight seasons as the league's most dominant player.
He returned the NFL in 1998 with the Buffalo Bills and earned a Pro Bowl selection in addition to Comeback Player of the Year honors from the Associated Press and Pro Football Weekly. Flutie set an NFL career high with 20 touchdowns while making just 10 starts that season. In the two seasons in which he was Buffalo's primary starter (1998-99), he led the Bills to the playoffs twice. Flutie joined the San Diego Chargers as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2001 season and started all 16 games that year, setting NFL career highs with 3,464 yards and 294 completions. For the last three seasons (2002-04), Flutie served primarily as Drew Brees' backup, playing in 10 games with six starts over that span, with his most recent start coming in the 2004 season finale.