Patriots Notes: Bubin, Sauerbrun & More

Patriots Notes: Offensive Tackle Sean Bubin decided enough was enough and officially announced his retirement; Randall Gay will re-sign with New England; Todd Sauerbrun is back in Denver and news on three former Patriots.

Bubin Retires

New England Patriots reserve offensive lineman Sean Bubin announced his retirement.

A member of Patriots practice squad since being signed October 6, 2006, Bubin has been on and off NFL rosters his three seasons in the league. The 6-foot-6, 305-pound Illinois product was originally selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

Bubin spent time with the Jaguars, Detroit Lions (2004) and Minnesota Vikings (2005-06). He spent one season in NFL Europe with the Hamburg Sea Devils.

Gay To Return

According to a league source, restricted free agent Randall Gay plans to sign his $1.3 million tender and return to the Patriots for the 2007 season. Gay made one visit during free agency, and that was to meet with the New York Jets. According to Gay's agent, Harold Lewis, the visit was more of a "lets see where things stand in a year" type of meeting than a serious push to sign the versatile, but oft injured, defender.

Gay's tender offer from New England meant that any team which signed the LSU product would have to forfeit a second round pick to the Patriots as compensation if they decided not to match the offer. Next year, Gay will be an unrestricted free agent, leaving him free to sign with any team without compensation for the Patriots.

Sauerbrun Signed By Denver

In an expected move, free agent punter Todd Sauerbrun signed a one-year deal reportedly worth up to $1.4 million with the Denver Broncos.

A special master found in favor of Sauerbrun for a grievance filed on his behalf against the New England Patriots by the NFL players Association. Sauerbrun became an unrestricted free agent Wednesday, and he immediately agreed to terms with Denver on Thursday.

The grievance was over the Patriots right of first refusal for Sauerbrun's services from a contract negotiated in December 2006. The contract was deemed invalid due to a technicality, effectively setting the veteran punter free.

Former Patriots

RFA Ethan Kelley re-signed with former Patriots defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel's team, the Cleveland Browns. Kelley was originally selected by the Patriots in the seventh round (243rd overall) of the 2003 NFL draft. He spent a season on the team's practice squad and re-signed in 2004. He's played two seasons for the Browns.

UFA DB Michael Stone signed with the New York Giants this past week. Stone played safety for the Patriots when a rash of injuries hit the team hard in 2005. He opted not to return in 2006, signing a deal with the Houston Texans instead. Stone appeared in 13 games (starting 3) for the Patriots. He recorded 46 tackles (40 solo).

WR Kevin Kasper signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Lions. Kasper may be best remembered for signing a contract with New England during the week and playing against the Dolphins that weekend. He earned his first (and only) Super Bowl ring with New England against the Eagles in 2004. He appeared in 8 games with the Patriots, recording 3 kickoff returns for 61 yards (20.3 avg.) and 4 special teams tackles.

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