|Stephan Savoia/Associated Press|
|John Lynch (No. 47) is fitting in with his new teammates.|
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- John Lynch thought he'd end his football career with the Denver Broncos.
Now the veteran safety and nine-time Pro Bowl pick, who spent four seasons with Denver after 11 years with Tampa Bay, has signed with the New England Patriots. NFL Network's Adam Schefter is reporting that the Patriots and Lynch agreed on a one-year, $1.5 million contract.
"I thought Denver would be my last stop, but things happened and here I am," Lynch said Friday.
Lynch parted ways with the Broncos early in training camp after being told he would no longer be an every-down player. He was contacted by the Patriots, a team he nearly signed with as a free agent in 2004 before selecting the Broncos.
After talking to coach Bill Belichick and taking a physical, Lynch went back to Denver to confer with his family about accepting the Patriots' contract offer. He returned to Foxborough Thursday and the Patriots finally officially announced the contract signing Friday.
The Patriots need help in the secondary after safety-linebacker Tank Williams had a season-ending knee injury Aug. 7 in their first exhibition game, a 16-15 loss to Baltimore. Neither of last season's starters, Rodney Harrison and James Sanders, played in that game and both have missed several practices in training camp.
Lynch, whose career totals include 1,277 tackles, 13 sacks and 26 interceptions, said he was flattered when New England expressed an interest in his services.
"I've always admired the Patriot organization from afar," he said.
Lynch cited the number of star players who dot the roster, but said that wasn't the determining factor in signing with New England.
"The thing that's always impressed me the most is the way they play the game," he said. I think they play it the right way. They embody the sense of team as well as anyone."
Whether Lynch will play Sunday night in the Patriots' second preseason game against Tampa Bay remains to be seen. He said he got through the playbook in one night and felt good after his first practice, even though he had little sleep.
Lynch was asked whether, at the age of 36, he could still be an every-down player.
"We'll see," he said. "You produce and things like that happen."
Belichick said he would confer with his coaches, Lynch, and watch film of the practice Friday before deciding whether to put Lynch on the field Sunday night.
"I am excited to have John on the team," Belichick said. "He is a guy I have admired for a long time -- his playing style and his production. He has been a great player with different organizations and with nine Pro Bowls."
Also on Friday, Randy Moss spoke to the media for the first time since the start of training camp, cautioning fans and the media against expecting the same fireworks that produced a slew of NFL records last season.
"I'm kind of nervous, the reason why being what we did last year as a whole unit," he said. "We're going to try and come out and put points on the board because that's what the coaches ask us to do. The expectations -- the bar's set so high here, not by you all and not by the fans, but the coaches and the team. We have high expectations for this offense and this team as a unit, but what we did last year, man, I don't think we can really live and dwell off that."
In another roster move, the Patriots placed offensive lineman Barry Stokes, whom they recently signed, on the injured reserve list.
Information from the Associated Press was included in this report