Veteran DE Finally Gets His Wish

The Oakland Raiders finally made a decision on what to do with disgruntled DE Derrick Burgess. They traded him to the New England Patriots.

The New England Patriots acquired veteran DE Derrick Burgess in a trade with the Oakland Raiders, the Patriots announced Thursday. According to National Football Post's Mike Lombardi, the Patriots gave up a third-round pick in 2010 and a fifth-round pick in 2011 in exchange for Burgess.

Burgess, who turns 31 on August 12, was seeking a new deal and was on Oakland's Reserve/Did Not Report List. A league source told that he's set to make $2 million in base salary this season and carried a salary cap number of just over $4.5 million. Burgess signed a five-year, $17.46 million deal with the Raiders back in 2005, and was already paid a $1.5 million roster bonus earlier this year, but the Raiders will still responsible for the remaining $1 million in signing bonus proration.

Burgess, 6-2, 260 pounds, is a veteran of eight NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (2001-2004) and the Oakland Raiders (2005-2008). Burgess originally joined the NFL as a third-round draft pick by Philadelphia (63rd overall) out of Mississippi in 2001. He has accumulated 227 total tackles, 47 sacks during his career.

After a four-year career in Philadelphia, Burgess joined Oakland as an unrestricted free agent in 2005 and earned Pro Bowl honors in his first two seasons with the Raiders, registering 16 sacks in 2005 and 11 sacks in 2006. His 16 sacks in 2005 led the NFL and set an Oakland team record for most sacks in a season.

A league source said that the indication is that the Patriots are expected to use more 4-3 defensive fronts this year than in years past, so Burgess became a more attractive player to them.

With Burgess out of the way in Oakland, this opens the door for second-year DE Trevor Scott, who put together a terrific training camp during his rookie season in 2008. Scott has been running with the first-team defense since the start of training camp at right defensive end. Scott has a terrific first step, but whether he is capable of holding up physically for 16 games is a big issue. A source said Scott only participated in roughly 21 percent of the defensive snaps last season.

To make room for Burgess on their 80-man roster, the Patriots released veteran OL Al Johnson. A source said the team reached an injury settlement with Johnson.

Johnson, 6-5, 305 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots on March 16, 2009. He is a veteran of six NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (2003-06), Arizona Cardinals (2007) and Miami Dolphins (2008). Johnson was originally selected by the Cowboys in the second round (38th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin.

Johnson was signed by the Cardinals as an unrestricted free agent on March 5, 2007. Last season, Johnson was placed on injured reserve by the Cardinals with a knee injury and was released from injured reserve on Oct. 21, 2008. He was signed by the Dolphins as a free agent on Nov. 29, 2008 and played in four games for Miami last season, seeing reserve action at both guard and center.

For more on the Patriots, check out Patriots Insider.

For more on the Raiders, check out Silver and Black Illustrated.

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