According to a report in today's Boston Herald the Patriots have reached contract agreements with veteran fullback Larry Centers and guard Brenden Stai. The team was not yet confirming the signings as of early Monday morning.
Late last week Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick confirmed that the two players had visited Gillette Stadium, but didn't know as of Saturday if the deals with either player would get done.
Centers, who reportedly signed a one-year deal, is a 13-season NFL veteran pass-catching fullback who spent each of the last two seasons with the Buffalo Bills. The 6-0, 225-pound potential future Hall of Famer caught 43 passes for 388 yards a year ago. In his career, Centers has played in 189 games with 105 starts with the Cardinals, Redskins and Bills. His impressive numbers include 808 career receptions for 6,691 yards and 27 touchdowns. He is the NFL's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards for a running back.
"It's just good to get with a team that has a chance to win it all," Centers told the Herald. "There's a good chance this is my last shot at it. I've watched their offense for years and I've always liked the way they used their backs out of the backfield. I spoke to Charlie Weis [Patriots Offensive Coordinator] and he told me that they tailor their offense to their personnel not the other way around. It was music to my ears."
Stai, who also reportedly signed a one-year deal, is an eight-year NFL veteran who was with the Redskins a year ago. The 6-4, 318-pound offensive lineman started five games in Washington, but then missed the remainder of the year with a knee injury. Prior to 2002, Stai had started 64 straight NFL games in time with the Lions, Jaguars and Steelers. For his career the Nebraska alum has started 96-of-105 games played.
Since the Patriots currently sit at the 80-man NFL roster limit (including NFL Europe exemptions) the team will have to make two roster moves in order to create room for Centers and Stai when the deals become official.