Fauria to New England

Seven-year veteran tight end Christian Fauria found a new home with the New England Patriots, signing a three-year deal worth $3.8 million that includes a $800,000 signing bonus.<br> Fauria, who started for the Seahawks the last four seasons, became unrestricted free agent along with backup Itula Mili on March 1. ...

Head coach Mike Holmgren expressed a desire to re-sign one of the players this offseason. Because of Fauria's chronic back problem, hamstring, and ankle injuries and other nicks and dings that have kept him out of the starting lineup the past several seasons, Seattle opted to sign Mili last week. Fauria, 30, was drafted in the second round out of Colorado by Seattle in 1995. Along the way he caught 166 passes for 1,683 yards and seven touchdowns. His best season was in 1998, when he caught a team-record 37 passes. Fauria started 11 games last season. Fauria missed a bed check the night before a game while under Mike Holmgren's watch. This created a strain between player and coach that never completely healed. Now Fauria will have a chance to compete for the starting job with the Patriots, who have yet find a replacement for the sure-handed Ben coates.

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