The New England Patriots announced that they have re-signed free agent LB Larry Izzo today. Terms of the deal were not available. A special teams captain and reserve linebacker, Izzo was relieved to return for his 12th season in the league, and seventh with the Patriots.
"We're very happy to be coming back," said Izzo via conference call yesterday. "This is where we wanted to be. My wife and I are very happy here in Boston. I love the team. I love Boston. I love the organization."
The 5-foot-10, 228-pound defender has been an integral part of the Patriots specials teams units. There were rumblings that he might join the New York Jets as a number of former Patriots had done, drawn by the lure of playing for former Patriot defensive coordinator Eric Mangini.
"My agent was in contact with Houston and the Jets expressed interest," Izzo commented. "In the end, this was my first choice, so that's why we decided to stay, but those were teams to consider."
Izzo's proficiency as New England's special teams captain earned him trips to the NFL Pro Bowl following the 2000, 2002 and 2004 seasons.
The veteran is looking forward to the Patriot's prospects for 2007.
"I'm excited about the new additions and I'm excited about the guys that we've had that have had a lot of success in the past."
Graham Goes to Denver
New England Patriots tight end Daniel Graham is off the market. The former Patriot agreed to a 5-year $30 million deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday night. The signing concludes his 5-year tenure in New England as the team's primary tight end.
According to a league insider, the Seattle Seahawks had the inside track to sign Graham to a deal early in the week, but reports indicate their offer was less than what Denver had put on the table. Graham had already been to Denver and the former Colorado product still has family and friends in the area.
The Patriots weren't planning on re-signing Graham, a strategy that was readily apparent when they signed Kyle Brady on Saturday. The Seahawks were in the market for a tight end when Jerramy Stephens became a free agent. Denver has been searching for a tight end for their two tight end sets, but were thought to be less attractive due to the presence of TE Tony Scheffler who the team is very high on.
It turned out, that Graham's decision did come down to money when the Broncos reportedly upped their offer and guaranteed money.
Stallworth No Deal Yet
Donte Stallworth, who visited Foxborough and reportedly agreed to a deal with the New England Patriots on Tuesday, left town to make other visits. The report from Comcastsportsnet.com yesterday, which claimed Drew Rosenhaus, Stallworth's agent, confirmed the signing was apparently incorrect. While the website pulled the story, some other local Boston based media outlets were still running news of the signing late last night.
The Patriots did extend Stallworth an offer, but it was not accepted.
More Receivers Coming?
PatriotsInsider.com has learned the Patriots have been speaking with other free agent receivers on the market. After trading for Miami's Wes Welker on Monday, and meeting with Stallworth, New England is looking for other options. The Randy Moss to New England rumor has not been confirmed, but some others have.
Look for more news on pending visits on the Patriots Insider front page and the Insider's Lounge