Late Wednesday, media reports indicated that wide receiver Jabar Gaffney had signed a two-year deal with the Patriots (the story was first reported by ESPN).
Gaffney, 31, will reunite with the club that helped resurrect his career from 2006-08. He enjoyed three productive seasons in New England before signing with Denver as a free agent in 2009. He played last season for Washington, and in the week leading up to the Redskins' game against the Patriots, QB Tom Brady made it clear he was still a fan of Gaffney.
"Jab could do everything well. I think that's his versatility, he's got good size, he's got long arms, he's got good speed, he's got good quickness, he plays every position, he's smart," Brady said last December.
"He's just one of those guys that, from the day we got him here, he was just so reliable and dependable because he knew what to do and he did it well. You gain a lot of trust from the quarterback when all those things matchup. I was bummed when he went to Denver and I was bummed when he went to Washington."
Presumably, Brady's not bummed anymore because Gaffney still seems to have plenty of football left in him. In fact, Gaffney enjoyed perhaps his most productive NFL season last year in D.C., starting 15 of 16 games and catching 68 passes for 947 yards, both career bests. His five TDs tied his previous career high set in 2007 with the Patriots.
Gaffney's return further strengthens an already deep wide receiver roster in New England, and marks the second addition of a receiver from the prolific '07 squad (Donte' Stallworth recently re-signed with the Patriots). This position is shaping up to be one of the most competitive heading into training camp, if not the most, much like defensive line was last summer after the addition of so many veteran free agents. It also provides the team with yet another insurance policy should the contractual struggle with Pro Bowler Wes Welker stretch further than expected.
Thoughts on Gaffney's comeback route to Foxborough? As always, share them with a comment below.