SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The New England Patriots announced the signing of veteran free agent linebacker Roman Phifer today. The terms of the contract were not disclosed. Subsequently, punter Dan Hadenfeldt was waived.
Phifer, 33, started 11 of 16 games at outside linebacker for the New York Jets last season and recorded 45 tackles, 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass defensed. The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound linebacker was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the second round of the 1991 NFL draft out of UCLA. He played his first eight seasons with the Rams, four in Los Angeles and four in St. Louis before signing with the New York Jets as a free agent in 1999. In 10 NFL seasons, he has started 134 of 151 games and has 915 career tackles, including 23.5 sacks. He has forced 12 fumbles and is credited with 4 recoveries. He also has 66 passes defensed, including 9 career interceptions.
His single season career high for tackles was in 1996 when he was credited with 170 total tackles in 15 starts. In 1998, he recorded a career-high with 6.5 sacks.
Hadenfeldt, 24, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 27, 2001. The 5-foot-10-inch, 195-pound punter finished his Nebraska career with 104 punts for 4,632 yards and a 44.5 average.