Patriots Interested In LB Junior Seau

In a day full of surprises, one more jumped into the mix as news surfaced that longtime San Diego Chargers' linebacker Junior Seau may join the New England Patriots as early as this weekend.

League sources confirmed that Seau would fly to New England to possibly sign with the Patriots, according to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The Patriots, desperate for help at the linebacker position because of both free agency losses and injuries, were interested in Seau last week when they heard he was thinking of retiring, the report said.

The Chargers confirmed the report in a statement released late Thursday.

“Junior left a message for Chargers President Dean Spanos today alerting him that he may sign a contract and play for the New England Patriots. If in fact he chooses to continue his playing career, we wish him good health and the best of luck this season. Junior’s place in the Chargers’ Hall of Fame awaits him when his career is over.”

Seau, who announced his retirement three days ago, said he retired because teams said they wanted him, but no team said they needed him.

"I can play and there are teams out there that had interest, but they just didn't need (me)," Seau said at his farewell party at Chargers Park. "They wanted me, but they didn't need me. I'm not a player than can play by just wanting to play the game. I'm a guy that needs to win, and they go hand in hand."

New England desperately needs another veteran linebacker, and Seau could be the perfect fit. With Tedy Bruschi, Freddie Roach and Chad Brown sidelined by injury, the Patriots are thin at inside linebacker.

Another incentive for Seau may be the presence of former Charger Rodney Harrison. Harrison and Seau played together at San Diego from 1994 through 2002. The team’s familiarity with the 6-foot-3, 248-pound linebacker, who played for the Miami Dolphins the past three seasons, was enough to get both sides to explore the possibility of him coming out of retirement.

Junior Seau speaks during a press conference to announce his retirement from the NFL on August 14, 2006 at the Chargers Training Camp in San Diego, California. The 37-year-old Seau is retired from the NFL after 12 Pro-Bowl Appearances, 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and three years with the Miami Dolphins. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

When asked about Seau’s retirement Monday, Patriots head coach praised the 16-year veteran.

“He's always been a very energetic, high-energy type of player that has made a lot of big plays through his career,” said Belichick. ”Of course we saw a little bit more of him the last couple of years while he was with the Dolphins. I know he missed some time but when he was there, having him in the division of last couple of years, I just got to know him a little bit better, seeing him before the game and stuff like that. “

Seau, 37, is expected to play inside linebacker for the Patriots. Starter Tedy Bruschi has missed most of the preseason with a broken wrist and is not expected back until after the start of the season. New England has worked out at least three other linebackers recently in an effort to fill the void at the position.

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Listen to Seau's Retirement Press Conference:
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