Brunell signs two-year contract with Jets to be backup QB

The New York Jets announced Wednesday they had signed veteran quarterback Mark Brunell to a two-year contract, which a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora is in the veteran-minimum range.

The move had been expected for several months as the Jets sought an experienced quarterback to back up second-year starter Mark Sanchez. The Jets had Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge and Kevin O'Connell as backups last season, but at least one of those quarterbacks likely will be cut before training camp starts Sunday in Cortland, N.Y.

With 15 regular-season NFL starts, Sanchez had more experience than all three of his 2009 backups combined.

Brunell has thrown for 31,928 yards and 182 touchdowns in 18 NFL seasons, but he has started only game -- the New Orleans Saints' 2009 regular-season finale -- in the last three seasons. Brunell was the 1997 Pro Bowl MVP, and he shares the NFL record for most consecutive completions in a game with 22, set in 2006 with the Washington Redskins.

Brunell, 39, played the last two years with the Saints, who signed veteran Patrick Ramsey as a backup Wednesday, and the previous four with the Redskins after nine years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. The three-time Pro Bowl selection spent his first two NFL seasons as Brett Favre's backup with the Green Bay Packers.

The Jets worked out Brunell twice this offseason, including on Wednesday, but as AFC Championship game participants, they weren't allowed to sign an unrestricted free agent until one of their own signed elsewhere. When kicker Jay Feely signed with the Arizona Cardinals in April, the Jets used that opportunity to bring in former Miami Dolphins linebacker Jason Taylor.

Free-agency restrictions on the final eight playoff teams were lifted last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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