Nearly four months later, league sources confirmed to the local media that Troy Brown agreed to a one-year deal.
For Brown, the issue was whether the 36-year old could bounce back from knee surgery to compete with the Patriots' new additions at his position.
Versatility and general work ethic are the characteristics that endeared Brown to the organization. Head coach Bill Belichick shared numerous positive comments on Brown as a player and a leader. In 2005 he couldn't heap enough praise on the former Marshall receiver.
"Nobody has more respect for Troy Brown than I do," Belichick said in that year. "He's a good football player, a great leader, he's been a team captain every year. He sets a tremendous example. He's an inspiration to all of us. I love Troy Brown."
Belichick reiterated his respect for Brown a number of times since. It was his comments to a former beat writer in March this year that indicated the team would welcome Brown back for a 15th season.
"I expect Troy to have a role with us this year as far as I'm concerned," Belichick said to NBCSports.com in March. "He is part of the plan for next season."
Brown will compete for playing time with Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, Wes Welker and Kelley Washington who were added to the roster to improve the overall depth and talent level of the unit. In addition to Brown, Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney return as the other active receivers from 2006. Second-year pass-catcher Chad Jackson also returns, but questions remain surrounding his recovery from off-season knee surgery.
Chad Brown To Return?
Now that Troy Brown has agreed to return, the speculation on the return of another Brown, (Chad) continues. In comments made to the Boston Globe, Chad's agent, Peter Schaffer, confirmed that the two sides had spoken and that the former Patriot would like to return.
A Standard-Times report in May indicated that Brown had agreed to a deal with New England, and would return to Foxboro to add depth to the Patriots' linebacker unit. Patriots Insider confirmed the rumor (See Rumor Mill) that a veteran linebacker would join New England shortly. That linebacker turned out to be Junior Seau who signed with the team on May 21. After Seau re-signed, the likelihood that Brown would be back diminished, but did not disappear.
Earlier this week, the Globe article revitalized the story on Brown and his possible return to New England. Although the team signed free agent Adalius Thomas, and re-signed Seau, it's believed that the Patriots would add Brown to the mix of linebackers jockeying for reserve spots on the roster. In addition to the team's projected starters Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Thomas and Rosevelt Colvin, the team has six more players vying for playing time alongside Seau. The other returning linebackers are Corey Mays, Pierre Woods and Eric Alexander. Oscar Lua, Justin Rogers and Kyle Bissinger are the rookies.
Former Patriot Executive Kilroy Passes Away
Former New England Patriots scout and NFL player Francis "Bucko" Kilroy passed away. The former Patriots executive, known as a top talent scout, died Tuesday, the team announced. He was 86 years old.
Kilroy spent 36 years with the Patriots and 64 in the league overall as a player, coach and executive. A well-respected talent evaluator, Kilroy was part of the scouting departments for the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys. He is credited with starting a number of scouting operations and was one of the founders of the National Football Scouting Combine.
Calling hours are scheduled for Monday, July 16, from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Roberts and Sons Funeral Home in Foxboro For additional information you may reach them at 508-543-5471.
Donations in Bucko's memory may be made to St. Marys Church, 83 Central St. Foxboro, MA 02035.
Bethel Gets Another Chance
Earlier this week, former Patriot wide receiver bethel Johnson signed with the Houston Texans. A former second-round Draft pick of the Patriots in 2003, Johnson never broke into the starting lineup during his three seasons in New England. He was traded to the New Orleans for former Saints first-round draft pick Johnathan Sullivan prior to the 2006 season.
Johnson was released by New Orleans and acquired by the Minnesota Vikings. As a reserve receiver Johnson managed 9 receptions for 156 yards with 2 rushes for 8 yards. Most of his contributions were on special teams where he recorded 45 kickoff returns for 1054 yards (23.4 avg.).