The New England Patriots announced the signing of veteran free agent defensive back Jeff Burris today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Burris, 31, is entering his 11th NFL season and has played in 144 games in his career with 119 starts. The 6-foot, 190-pounder has amassed 536 career tackles (455 solo) and 19 interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. The Notre Dame product joins the Patriots after two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, where he started in 20 of 29 games at cornerback in 2002 and 2003. His two-year totals in Cincinnati included 114 tackles (80 solo) and three interceptions. Prior to signing with the Bengals on March 26, 2002, Burris was a member of the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2001. In Indianapolis, he enjoyed four solid seasons as a starter, starting all 61 games in which he played and averaging 74 tackles per season. He also notched five sacks and 10 interceptions during his tenure with the Colts. Burris began his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills, who selected him in the first round (27th overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. After playing a reserve role in every game as a rookie, Burris earned a starting job for the first nine games of the 1995 season before an injury ended his campaign. He returned to action the following season, starting all 29 games in which he played from 1996-97 before signing with Indianapolis as an unrestricted free agent on Feb. 18, 1998.
The Rock Hill, S.C., native has started in at least half of his team's games for each of the past nine seasons. He has also recorded at least one interception in each of his 10 seasons as a pro. His career totals include 15 special teams tackles and 105 punt returns for 1,103 yards. He was a four-year letterman at Notre Dame from 1990-93, and was a consensus first-team All-American and team MVP as a senior.