The New England Patriots added some depth at defensive back by re-signing 23-year-old safety Guss Scott on Wednesday. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Injury-plagued as Scott has been, he has shown distinct promise and steady improvement in his limited action. In the first five games of 2005, he totaled 19 defensive tackles (16 solo) and 5 solo tackles. He was placed on injured reserve following the Atlanta game, in which he tied for the team lead with 7 solo tackles.
At 5-feet-10, 205 pounds, Scott was selected in the third round (95th overall) of the 2004 NFL draft. However, he suffered a knee injury in his first preseason and spent the entire year on injured reserved.
Scott was an "exclusive-rights free agent," meaning his contract had expired but he has three or fewer tenured years in the NFL, and the Patriots retain their rights to make him a qualified offer under the collective bargaining agreement. If the Pats had not proffered an offer, he would have become an unrestricted free agent.
Scott joins Rodney Harrison, Eugene Wilson, James Sanders and Ray Ventrone in New England's stable of safties. Scott gives the Patriots a reasonably priced defensive back with lots of potential in a position where New England was sorely depleted last season. Scott is more at home as a free safety, meaning he will probably come off the bench in relief of Wilson, with Harrison starting at strong safety, if and when he is ready.
Terms of Neal's Deal
According to The Boston Globe, NFL Players Association documents indicated that guard Stephen Neal signed a 4-year deal worth more than $10 million, including a $3.2 million signing bonus.
Last week's contract with running back Heath Evans is for 1 year, $585,000, which includes a $25,000 signing bonus.
The Globe also reported that Harrison walked through the media workroom yesterday without crutches or braces. Harrison is recovering from a severe knee injury in which he tore his anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments and his medial collateral ligament.