The Patriots dipped into the free agent market once again on Thursday and came away with a pair of signings in 11-year veteran defensive end Anthony Pleasant and former Miami cornerback Terrance Shaw.
The 6-5, 280-pound Pleasant spent the 2000 season with San Francisco after playing the previous two years with Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick in New York with the Jets.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Belichick's trend this offseason has been to find character players for short money who provide more than just talent to the team. Pleasant fits that bill and should serve as a pass rusher on the outside along with Willie McGinest and Greg Spires.
Pleasant, 33, was drafted in 1990 by Cleveland out of Tennessee State and played six years with the Browns, including five for Belichick (1991-95) when the latter was head coach there. He made the move when the franchise went to Baltimore and played with the Ravens in 1996 before signing as a free agent with Atlanta in 1997.
From there, Pleasant went to New York (1998-99) and then San Francisco last season. He's been known more for his pass rushing abilities throughout his career, as his 48 career sacks in 130 starts suggest. His best seasons came with Belichick in both Cleveland and New York.
In 1993, he tallied a career-high 11 sacks, including three in a game at Pittsburgh. Two years later, he racked up eight more and also forced an amazing six fumbles. Pleasant had a streak of five straight games in which he recorded at least one sack that season. In between in 1994 he posted his career high in tackles with 81 and added 4.5 sacks. With the Jets in 1998, he tied with linebacker Bryan Cox for the team lead with 6.5 sacks. He also played for Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel when the latter was the Jets defensive line coach.
In his 11 seasons, Pleasant has appeared in 165 games and started 130 of those. He's recorded 518 tackles, forced 11 fumbles and added 48 sacks.
The 5-11, 190-pound Shaw has been a starter for most of his career, which has included five seasons in San Diego and one in Miami. He was with the Dolphins in 2000 and started three of 11 games while posting 18 tackles, one interception and four passes defensed.
Before going to the Dolphins, Shaw started 67 of the 69 games he played for the Chargers. From 1995-97 he played all 48 games. In 1998 a sprained MCL in his left knee caused him to miss three games, and the same injury caused him to miss eight games the following year.
For his career, the Stephen F. Austin product has 297 tackles, eight interceptions and 65 passes defensed. New England currently has Ty Law, Antonio Langham, Otis Smith, Kato Serwanga and Antwan Harris as potential cornerbacks. Law is the only definite starter of the bunch, although Smith may be the leading candidate on the opposite side.