QB Testaverde at Patriots minicamp this week

21st Season for Vinny?
Testaverde Spotted at Patriots Minicamp

According to Boston Herald columnist Karen Guregian 43-year-old quarterback Vinny Testaverde is planning on wearing an NFL uniform in the 2007 season.

No deal has been struck, and Testaverde's friend and former agent Mike Azzarelli would not say whether negotiations with the New England Patriots were in progress. But, "He's not retired," Azzarelli said. "I doubt he'd be hanging out [in Foxboro]. He's intent on playing."

The Patriots currently have three quarterbacks on their roster: Tom Brady, Matt Cassel and rookie free agent Matt Gutierrez.

New England Patriots quarterback Vinny Testaverde celebrates with
tight end David Thomas after throwing a touchdown to Troy Brown in
the Patriots 40-23 win over Tennessee in December.

Photo Courtesy: boston.com

Testaverde, currently technically a free agent, signed on with New England last November as an emergency quarterback and sideline soundboard for Brady. He took game-ending kneel-downs in several contests and threw a touchdown in the waning minutes of a 40-23 New Year's Eve win over Tennessee. That gave the double-decade veteran at least one touchdown in 20 straight seasons, an NFL record.

Testaverde's locker remains intact as it was at the end of the season, bookends with Brady to newcomer Randy Moss.

My initial instinct is that the Patriots -- despite Mr. Azzarelli's assertion -- won't use a roster spot on Testaverde if they think Cassel and Gutierrez are better, and they certainly won't carry more than three quarterbacks. Thus, my guess is New England will offer Testaverde some kind of coaching position, as clearly he's good for Brady.

Remember, Brady looked fairly out of sorts with the group of mostly new (like this year) second-tier (not like this year) receivers early in the season. When the Patriots lost back-to-back games for the first time in years, they signed Testaverde and Brady's performances improved immediately.

Still, if Gutierrez doesn't prove himself or if New England finally decides to cut ties with Cassel, expect Testaverde to be wearing red, white and blue .. and silver.

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