PHOTO: SEATTLE - JANUARY 8: Running back Marshall Faulk #28 of the St. Louis Rams runs away from linebacker Chad Brown #94 of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC wild-card game at Qwest Field on January 8, 2005 in Seattle, Washington. The Rams defeated the Seahawks 27-20. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Brown Do For You?
By Scout.com Insiders
All apologies aside to UPS the parcel service that made the tagline popular, the question remains what can Brown (Chad Brown) do for the Patriots in 2005?
The Patriots continued preparing for life without linebacker Tedy Bruschi when they signed 12-year veteran linebacker Chad Brown. Brown was released by Seattle this spring after eight seasons with the Seahawks and inked a two-year, $2.35 million package with New England that included a $485,000 signing bonus and base salaries totaling about $1.5 million. With unidentified incentives, the total package can exceed $2.35 million and it also includes a $100,000 roster bonus in 2005 and a $200,000 roster bonus in 2006.
There is still no word on Bruschi's future and it's likely that even he doesn't yet know when or if he'll be able to resume his playing career. So while the Patriots would welcome him back into the fold at any time, they also must assume he will not be filling gaps and making plays in the Patriots' 3-4 defense in 2005.
But Brown, 34, might be. He joins former Chief Monty Beisel as the second experienced free agent linebacker to join the Pats this offseason, and his versatility makes him a perfect fit if he's healthy. Brown played in only seven games last season after breaking his leg and having minor knee surgery to clean up a meniscus tear.
"I feel fantastic," he said from his Colorado home where he will remain until the Patriots begin a voluntary passing camp later this month. "Obviously I missed some time last season with the broken leg, but that's different than a damaged knee or a disc in the back or something that will hamper you over time. The bone is healed and I feel fresher than I did at this point last offseason and I'm definitely stronger and in better shape because of my time off during the season. I'm truly ready to go."
Chad Brown and Ken Hamlin stop Steven Jackson
Brown contacted the Steelers, his first NFL team, and Broncos, who are closest to his Colorado home, before choosing New England over New Orleans. He felt his skills were best suited for the Patriots' multiple front defensive scheme in which he could play inside or outside.
"It's an opportunity to use all my talents," Brown said. "I've played in a 3-4 and in a 4-3. I've played end in the nickel and linebacker in the nickel. So in my conversation with coach (Bill) Belichick, I was definitely under the impression that I would get to play a few different spots and that's a role I'm very comfortable in."
Brown also came away impressed with the stability within the Patriots organization after playing for nine different defensive coordinators in his 12 years. "Sitting down and having a chance to speak with coach Belichick for about an hour-and-half was all I needed. Then going upstairs and talking to Scott (Pioli) and seeing those two on the same page and saying exactly the same things ... if the top of the organization is in agreement and headed in the same direction, I think that lends itself to a successful organization and that's something I wanted to be a part of.
"I know (defensive coordinator) Romeo (Crennel) left, but Bill didn't go outside the organization. He's not going to hire someone who is going to implement a new system. That's how you maintain the strength of your defense."
Brown, who has 78 career sacks and more than 1,000 tackles, will not take part in the Patriots offseason program, but will be a part of all organized team activities while he works in time to coach his daughter's softball team back in Colorado.
more on Chad Brown and his recent trials and travails, visit Seahawks.net,
Patriots Insider's sister site which covers the Seattle Seahawks, Brown's former
team of eight years.
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