FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed veteran linebacker Chad Brown today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Brown, 34, is entering his 13th season and owns 78.0 career sacks, more than any other active NFL linebacker. The 6-foot-2-inch, 245-pounder was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1996, 1998 and 1999 seasons. He has played in 163 career games with 156 starts and has started every game in which he has played dating back to his rookie season (1993). The Patriots are Brown's third NFL team, having previously played in Pittsburgh (1993-96) and Seattle (1997-2004). During his eight-year stint with the Seahawks, Brown averaged 93 tackles per season and had more tackles (744) than any other Seattle player over that span. In his career, the University of Colorado product has recorded 1,043 career tackles (778 solo), 78.0 sacks, six interceptions, 19 forced fumbles and 15 fumble recoveries.
The Altadena, Calif., native was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round (44th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft. As a rookie, he earned First Team All-Rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly, Pro Football News and the PFWA. By his second season in the league, he had become one of the Steelers' most productive defensive players, starting all 16 games at inside linebacker and pacing the team with 119 tackles in 1994. Two years later, he earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl after recording 13.0 sacks for Pittsburgh in 1996, a season in which he was named First Team All-NFL by the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and Pro Football Weekly, among other publications. Brown joined the Seahawks as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 1997 season and led Seattle with 104 tackles in his first season in the Pacific Northwest. He then posted back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns in 1998 and 1999, leading the team in tackles each season. In 1998, he earned First-Team All-Pro honors from a variety of publications and was named Seahawks MVP by his teammates. Brown averaged 100 tackles per season in 2000 and 2001, starting all 16 games in each campaign. Over the last three seasons (2002-04), he has totaled 29 starts and averaged 58 tackles per year.