LB Junior Seau.
The New England Patriots signed veteran linebacker Junior Seau today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Additionally, the Patriots placed veteran linebacker Adalius Thomas on the reserve/injured list. Thomas will miss the remainder of the 2008 season with an arm injury.
Junior Seau, 39, is a 12-time Pro Bowler and is entering his 19th NFL season and his third with the Patriots. He played in 27 games with 14 starts for New England from 2006-07. In his first two seasons with the Patriots, Seau totaled 146 tackles (92 solo), 4.5 sacks, three interceptions and five passes defensed. Last season, he served as a team captain and played in every regular-season and playoff game, starting the season's final four regular-season games and two of three playoff contests at inside linebacker. Seau recorded 76 tackles (55 solo) in 2007, and made 3.5 sacks to tie his highest sack total in 10 seasons. His three interceptions last season were the highest total of his 18-year career. Seau was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on Aug. 18, 2006 and played in the first 11 games of the 2006 season while making 10 starts. He recorded 70 tackles (37 solo) in 2006, a total that ranked fifth on the team. He was placed on injured reserve with an arm injury on Nov. 27, 2006, and was re-signed by the Patriots on May 21, 2007.
The University of Southern California product has played in 257 career games with 241 starts for the San Diego Chargers (1990-2002), Miami Dolphins (2003-05) and New England Patriots (2006-07). The 6-foot-3-inch, 248-pound linebacker has recorded 1,870 career tackles (1,435 solo), including 56.5 sacks for 353.5 yards, 18 interceptions for 238 yards, 98 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles and 17 fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown. Seau earned 12 consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 1992-2003 and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. He has been an Associated Press first team All-Pro selection six times (1992-94, 1996, 1998, 2000) and has been a second-team All-Pro on two occasions (1995, 1999). In recognition of his off-the-field achievements, he was named the NFL's Man of the Year in 1994.
Seau was originally drafted by the Chargers with the fifth overall selection in the 1990 NFL Draft. In his 13-year career with San Diego (1990-2002), Seau played in 200 games, tying him for first on the Chargers' all-time list. He was selected as the Chargers' Most Valuable Player a team-record six times and led the team in tackles in eight of his 13 seasons in San Diego. The University of Southern California product missed only seven games over a 14-year span from 1990-2003.
He was traded by the Chargers to the Miami Dolphins on April 16, 2003 in exchange for a fifth-round draft choice. In his first year with Miami, he started all 15 games in which he played and finished second on the team with 133 tackles (81 solo), including three sacks. Over his last two seasons with Miami (2004-05), Seau started 13 of 15 games while recording a total of 101 tackles.
Adalius Thomas, 31, has played in 121 career NFL games with 97 starts for the Baltimore Ravens (2000-06) and New England Patriots (2007-08). The 6-foot-2-inch, 270-pound linebacker started in each of the Patriots' first nine games this season and totaled 35 tackles (24 solo) and had five sacks. Over his nine-year NFL career, Thomas has totaled 553 tackles (370 solo), 50.0 sacks, seven interceptions for 185 yards and three touchdowns, 60 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries for 101 yards and three touchdowns, and 79 special teams tackles. Thomas has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice - as a special teams player following the 2003 season and as a linebacker following the 2006 season.Thomas was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on March 3, 2007. Last year, in his first season with the Patriots, Thomas played in all 16 regular-season games with 15 starts and finished third on the team with 82 tackles (60 solo) and tied for second on the club with 6.5 sacks while starting eight games at inside linebacker and seven games at outside linebacker. Over the final seven games of the 2007 season, Thomas led the Patriots with six sacks and set a single-game career high with 2.5 sacks at Buffalo on Nov. 18, 2007. He started all three 2007 playoff games for New England and led the team with two sacks in Super Bowl XLII.
The Equality, Ala. native was originally selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the sixth round (186th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft out of Southern Mississippi. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Ravens (2000-06). After playing in three games as a rookie, the Southern Mississippi product played in all 16 games with two starts in 2001 and recorded 39 tackles (27 solo), including 3.5 sacks, while tying for the team lead with three forced fumbles. He also tied for the club lead with 18 special teams tackles that season. In 2002, Thomas started 12 of 16 games at defensive end for the Ravens and totaled 68 tackles (38 solo), including three sacks, and also recorded two interceptions, one of which he returned for his first career touchdown. Thomas earned his first career Pro Bowl selection in 2003 as a special teams player, leading the Ravens with a career-high 23 special teams tackles that year. He also started 11 of 13 games at linebacker and tallied 34 tackles (26 solo) including four sacks. Thomas started all 16 games for the first time in 2004 and totaled 80 tackles (48 solo) while finishing second on the team with eight sacks and recording a career-high four forced fumbles. In 2005, Thomas again started every game and set a Ravens franchise record by recording three defensive touchdowns (two fumble returns and one interception return), while leading the team with nine sacks and totaling 104 tackles (70 solo). In 2006, Thomas set career highs with 11.0 sacks and 106 tackles (75 solo) while starting every game on a Baltimore Ravens defense that led the NFL in allowing just 12.6 points per game. Thomas' 11.0 sacks in 2006 led all Ravens defenders and tied for the fourth highest total among all NFL linebackers. Thomas recorded a sack or shared in a sack in 11 of 16 regular-season games in 2006 and tallied at least one sack seven times in an eight-game span during the season.