FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed three-time Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Sauerbrun will wear number 18 for the Patriots.
Sauerbrun, 33, is in his 12th NFL season and has punted for the Chicago Bears (1995-99), Kansas City Chiefs (2000), Carolina Panthers (2001-04) and Denver Broncos (2005). The 5-foot-10-inch, 215-pound punter has played in 162 career games and has averaged 44.0 yards per punt, totaling 36,600 yards on 832 kicks. He has placed 248 punts inside the 20-yard line and has recorded 201 career touchbacks. Over a six-year span from 2000-05, Sauerbrun ranked second in the NFL with a 45.1-yard gross punting average and led the league over that time with a 37.3-yard net punting average. He was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl squad for three straight seasons from 2001-03 and was named a first team Associated Press All-Pro on two occasions (2001, 2002) and earned second team honors once (2003). From 2001-03, while with the Carolina Panthers, Sauerbrun led the NFC in gross punting average each season, becoming the first player since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to lead his conference in punting for three consecutive years. He was originally selected by the Chicago Bears in the second round (56th overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft. The former West Virginia University punter spent the first five seasons of his career with the Bears and spent one season with Kansas City before joining the Panthers as a free agent prior to the 2001 season. In his first season in Carolina, Sauerbrun set a career high with a 47.5-yard gross punting average, a figure that stands as the highest single-season average in the NFL since 1963, when Detroit's Yale Lary averaged 48.9 yards per punt. Over four seasons with the Panthers, Sauerbrun became Carolina's franchise record holder in every major punting category. He was traded to Denver prior to the 2005 season and in his only campaign with the Broncos averaged 43.8 yards on his 72 punts.