|Source: Seau to sign with the Patriots||10.04.09 at 9:02 pm ET|
WEEI.com has confirmed via a source that linebacker Junior Seau is expected to return to the Patriots, and could sign a deal with New England as early as this week.
The 40-year-old Seau has played parts of the last three seasons with New England, coming out of retirement on two occasions to join the Patriots, including last season when New England was hit with several injuries. In the wake of a recent injury to second-year linebacker Jerod Mayo, Seau told reporters, “Tell [Bill] Belichick to call me.”
The news was also reported Sunday night via Twitter from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who wrote, “Barring unforseen, Patriots are expected to sign veteran 40-year-old LB Junior Seau this week.”
Seau spoke with WEEI last month and was asked about the possibility of a return. “I am not even listening to anything in September,” he answered. “If there is any way I can help a team toward the end of the season, I will look at that.” The future Hall of Famer went on to say, “They could use me more toward the end than the beginning. … I want to enjoy my life with my kids,” before adding, “right now, I am in a good place.” (Listen to the full interview here.)
In the past, he has said several times that he would only return to the NFL with the Patriots because of his relationship with coach Bill Belichick and the Kraft family.
“He’s a good player. He’s a good person and he loves the game,” Belichick said of Seau last December. “I think that enthusiasm and passion carries over to everybody who is around him: players, coaches and people in the organization. He’s a special guy and a special player. He brings a lot, he really does.
“It’s pretty remarkable what he’s doing, and the fact that he played as much as he did last year and at his age, at this level, it’s pretty remarkable, especially at that position. I’m lucky to have coached a couple guys like that: Clay Matthews and Junior. That’s rare at that position. A lot of guys don’t even make it until 30, let alone 40.”
A 12-time Pro Bowler, Seau has 1,515 tackles, 17 fumble recoveries, 18 interceptions, and 56½ sacks in his 19-year NFL career.
It was reported earlier in the week that the veteran linebacker underwent a physical for the Patriots this week as a possible prelude to a return to action. According to ESPNBoston, Seau’s physical came while the 40-year-old was in Boston this week to film an episode of his upcoming television show “Sports Jobs with Junior Seau,” which was a pre-planned trip.
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