FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed fifth-year wide receiver Jabar Gaffney today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Gaffney will wear number 10 for the Patriots. Additionally, the team announced the release of two players - defensive lineman Johnathan Sullivan and defensive back Hank Poteat.
Gaffney, 25, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Houston Texans (2002-05) and has played in 64 career games with 50 starts. The 6-foot-1-inch, 205-pound wide receiver has recorded 171 career receptions for 2,009 yards and seven touchdowns, and was a regular starter for Houston in each of his four seasons with the club. Last season with the Texans, he finished second on the team with a career-high 55 receptions for 492 yards and two touchdowns while playing in all 16 games with 13 starts. In 2004, he finished second on the team with a career-high 632 receiving yards on 41 catches, totaling two touchdowns while starting 12 of 16 games. His single-game career highs are 10 receptions (at Seattle on Oct. 16, 2005) and 109 receiving yards (at Chicago on Dec. 19, 2004). The University of Florida product was selected by the Texans in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2002 NFL Draft. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an unrestricted free agent on March 16, 2006 and was released in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 2, 2006.
Sullivan, 25, was placed on the gameday inactive list for each of New England's five games this season after being acquired via trade from the New Orleans Saints in exchange for wide receiver Bethel Johnson on June 6, 2006. The defensive lineman was originally selected by the New Orleans Saints with the sixth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft and has played in 36 career games with 17 starts. The University of Georgia product has recorded 102 career tackles, including 1.5 sacks, four passes defensed and a forced fumble.
Poteat, 28, was initially acquired by the club as a free agent signing on the eve of the 2004 playoffs and was re-signed as a free agent on Sept. 27, 2006. Poteat has played in two games with one start for the Patriots this season. The 5-foot-10-inch, 192-pound cornerback is in his sixth NFL season and has played in 54 career regular-season games and seven playoff games for the Pittsburgh Steelers (2000-02), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2003) and Patriots (2004-06). The University of Pittsburgh product was originally drafted by the Steelers in the third round (77th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. He was released by the Patriots on Aug. 29, 2006 before being re-signed late last month.