FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots acquired four-time Pro Bowl nose tackle Ted Washington from the Chicago Bears tonight for an undisclosed draft choice. Subsequently, the Patriots also waived wide receiver DeVeren Johnson and offensive lineman Jasen Esposito.
"We have a lot of respect for Ted's play over the years," said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick, "and we're excited about getting to work with him."
Washington, 35, was voted to four Pro Bowls over five seasons, beginning in 1997 and returning after the 1998, 2000 and 2001 seasons. The 6-foot-5-inch, 365-pound nose tackle has collected 852 career tackles, including 29.5 sacks, in 12 NFL seasons and has anchored some of the most formidable defenses in the NFL during his career.
He was originally drafted 25th overall by the San Francisco 49ers in the first round of the 1991 NFL draft. It was the third highest a Louisville Cardinal had ever been drafted, behind linebacker Otis Wilson (19th) and Bruce Armstrong (23rd). He became a started in just his second season and has started 145 of 173 games during his career. He played three seasons in San Francisco before being traded to Denver on April 20, 1994. He played just one season in Denver and recorded a then-high 82 tackles. He signed with the Buffalo Bills as an unrestricted free agent in 1995, where he anchored the Bills defensive line for the next six seasons.
He signed with the Chicago Bears in 2001 and earned his fourth trip to the Pro Bowl after starting 15 of 16 games played for the Bears at left defensive tackle. He also earned first-team All-Pro honors by the Associated Press, Football Digest and The Sporting News. He started the first two games of the 2002 season before suffering an injury at Atlanta on Sept. 15, 2002 that ended his season and snapped his streak of consecutive games played at 119.