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Patriots sign LB Junior Seau; DL Terdell Sands released

The New England Patriots signed veteran linebacker Junior Seau today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed veteran linebacker Junior Seau today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Additionally, the Patriots released DL Terdell Sands.

Junior Seau, 40, is a 12-time Pro Bowler, entering his 20th NFL season and his fourth with the Patriots. He was signed by New England last season on Dec. 5 after spending the first three quarters of the season out of football. Seau played in the final four games while helping New England to a 4-0 record in 2008. He finished the season with 29 total tackles in those four games, seeing action as a reserve in the first two contests and starting the last two games of the season.

Seau has played in 31 games with 16 starts for New England from 2006-08. In his first two seasons with the Patriots, Seau totaled 146 tackles (92 solo), 4.5 sacks, three interceptions and five passes defensed.

He served as a team captain in 2007 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 that season were the highest total of his 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 261 career games with 243 starts for the San Diego Chargers (1990-2002), Miami Dolphins (2003-05) and New England Patriots (2006-08). The 6-foot-3-inch, 248-pound linebacker has recorded 1,899 career tackles (1,452 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. Seau has 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.

Sands, 6-8, 355 pounds, was signed by the New England on Sept. 28, 2009. He spent the previous six seasons (2003-08) with the Oakland Raiders. He went to training camp with Oakland in 2009, but was waived prior to the start of the regular season.

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