PHOTO: Buffalo Bills' Willis McGahee (21) pushes off of Miami Dolphins' Antuan Edwards (21) during the fourth quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y., Sunday, Oct. 17, 2004. The Bills won 20-13. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass The New England Patriots added another veteran defender to their roster yesterday, as the team agreed to terms with former first-round defensive back Antuan Edwards. Edwards, who had been to visit the Super Bowl Champs previously, agreed to terms with the club and will provide yet more depth a unit, which was decimated by injury last season.
Edwards, a first-round draft choice by the Green Bay Packers (25th overall) in the 1999 NFL Draft. The former Packer moved on from Green Bay to sign with the Miami Dolphins in 2004 as an unrestricted free agent. He spent time with both the Dolphins and the Rams last season.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound safety has the versatility to play multiple positions in the defensive backfield, something the Patriots look for in their players. Edwards' flexibility translated into success last season when he set personal best records for tackles (65) and passes defenses (10), while playing for both the Dolphins and the Rams.
While Harrison is a sure starter, the other safety position is more unsettled. Wilson is expected to start, but may switch to corner, Scott is returning from an injury-shorted season, Reid looks to compete for time along with draft choice James Sanders and Ventrone's best hope may be the practice squad.
The 28-year-old Edwards will have to prove he still has the talent that landed him in the first round of the draft. If he can harness some of that talent, it will be another example of how the Patriots take former high round draft choices that fall out of favor with other teams, and turn them into productive players again.
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