In addition the team announced the signing of safety James Sanders (previous reported by Scout.com), linebacker Eric Alexander and punter Chris Hanson. The Patriots also announced the release of first year linebacker Darrell Robertson.
The decision to trade for Lewis addresses the loss of Jabar Gaffney who elected to sign with the Denver Broncos. Lewis is a proven commodity from Philadelphia and though not quite the playmaker the team may need, he should be able to hold down the role as the team's No. 3 receiver until the Patriots can groom a younger replacement at the position.
Alexander and Sanders' re-signings were expected. The announcement is a mere formality to the team's decision to bring back two contributing veterans. Alexander has played mostly on special teams and occasionally as a role player on defense.
Sanders signed a three-year $9 million deal with New England according to Scout.com's Adam Caplan. Sanders' agent indicated that the veteran safety elected to take less money to return to return to the Patriots secondary. His return gives the Patriots one of their two starters at safety. Rodney Harrison, who was replaced by Brandon Meriweather, has yet to announce if he'll return to the Patriots after suffering a season-ending leg injury.
Hanson's return is another important cog in the Patriots' special teams units. Though he struggled with distance at points over the past two seasons, Hanson's performance came on late in 2008. He had an exceptional game against the Buffalo Bills in the regular season finale, kicking in extremely windy conditions.
Robertson was a member of the Patriots practice squad, signing with the team in Nov. 2008. The Dallas Cowboys originally signed him as an undrafted rookie after the 2008 NFL Draft.
Hot Topic: Patriots Trade for Lewis Worth It?