FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have signed free agent linebacker Tully Banta-Cain and free agent tight end Brad Listorti. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.
Banta-Cain, 28, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round (239th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-2-inch, 250-pound linebacker played for the Patriots for four seasons from 2003-06, playing in 54 games with five starts over that period. Banta-Cain was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an unrestricted free agent on March 3, 2007, and played for the 49ers for two seasons (2007-08), playing in 28 games with 10 starts for San Francisco. For his career, Banta-Cain has played in 82 games with 15 starts and has recorded 97 tackles (65 solo), 12.0 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and 71 special teams tackles. As a rookie in 2003, the Sunnyvale, Calif. native played in the final nine games of the regular season and had nine special teams tackles. He also appeared in two playoff games for the Patriots following the 2003 season, including Super Bowl XXXVIII. In 2004, he played in every regular-season and playoff game, and his 23 special teams tackles in the regular season ranked second on the team. In 2005, he played in 13 games and had 10 special teams tackles. In 2006, he played in every game for the Patriots and started five regular-season contests while making 40 tackles (27 solo) and finishing fourth on the team with a career-high 5.5 sacks. He started four of the final five regular-season games in 2006, after Mike Vrabel moved to inside linebacker following a season-ending injury to Junior Seau. The California-Berkeley product joined the 49ers prior to the 2007 season, and in his first year in San Francisco played in every game with a career-high 10 starts and had a career-high 59 tackles (37 solo), 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in the end zone for his first career touchdown. Last season, Banta-Cain played in 12 games and recorded seven tackles (3 solo) and 19 special teams stops. He was released by the 49ers on Feb. 11, 2009.
Listorti, 24, was originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as a rookie free agent from the University of Massachusetts on May 21, 2008. The 6-foot-4-inch, 255-pound tight end was waived by the Falcons on Aug. 11, 2008. During the 2008 season, Listorti had two stints on the New York Jets' practice squad - from Sept. 11-23 and from Oct. 22-Nov. 4.