Troy Brown, Neal, Evans Expected to Re-Sign
The New England Patriots re-signed cornerback Chad Scott in a move that may signal Rodney Harrison may not be ready to return by training camp. Also, WEEI reported that the Patriots are expected to re-sign wide receiver Troy Brown and possibly offensive lineman Stephen Neal. ESPN reported that the Patriots re-signed Heath Evans, although there has been no confirmation.
Meanwhile, free agent offensive lineman Tom Ashworth signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
Scott, 31, a nine-year veteran, was first signed by the Patriots as a free agent last April. Last season he recorded just two solo tackles in three games before being placed on injured reserve. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound cornerback was drafted by Pittsburgh and spent the first eight years of his career there. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Scott has 19 career interceptions, four returned for touchdowns. He also has 432 career tackles and 74 passes defensed.
Brown will be an important signing when it comes to fruition as New England is suddenly very shallow in a previously deep position. The Providence Journal was the first to report the likely reunion.
Ashworth, 28, agreed to a 5-year, $13-million contract with Seattle, where he will replace Steve Hutchinson. The 6-6, 305-pound Ashworth was with New England for four years. While Ashworth has been playing tackle, Seattle expects he will be able to replace Hutchinson's vacated guard position.
Vanderjagt Signs with Dallas
The serendipity of replacing former Patriot placekicker Adam Vinatieri with his counterpart from Indianapolis has been rendered moot. Former Colt kicker Mike Vanderjagt, the most accurate kicker in NFL history, signed a 3-year deal expected to be worth total in the vicinity of $6 million.
Dallas used three kickers last season and were near the bottom of the league in kicker efficiency. Vanderjagt will be more than a significant improvement.
Former UNH Star Azumah Retires
Former University of New Hampshire star running back Jerry Azumah announced his retirement from pro football today. Azumah was selected the 14th pick of the fifth round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears and stretched his good fortune into a 7-year career.
Azumah was a defensive back and kick returner for the Bears. He had a career-high 92 tackles and a team-leading four interceptions in 2002 and was elected to the Pro Bowl as a kick returner the following year.
He was plagued by back and neck pain in his last two seasons, having surgery in both areas.
Azumah played for UNH from 1995-1998 and at one time held the record for Division IAA career rushing yards gained (6,193).