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Thursday, March 20, 2008
Patriots agree to one-year deal with Bryant

By John Clayton
ESPN.com

The Patriots, down two cornerbacks because of free agency hits, reached agreement with another veteran, Fernando Bryant, to give them a competitive stable of coverage players.

Bryant, who turns 31 next week, reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Patriots on Thursday morning. Bryant joins Jason Webster and Lewis Sanders as players who signed one-year deals to compete for a starting job with a Super Bowl contender.

The Patriots lost cornerbacks Asante Samuel to the Eagles and Randall Gay to the Saints. They also lost Eugene Wilson to Tampa Bay. Wilson was drafted as a cornerback but finished his Patriots career as a safety.

"Adding a cornerback with Fernando's experience and production is a good opportunity for us," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.

Bryant was a first-round pick of the Jaguars in 1999 and he goes to the Patriots with plenty of experience. The 5-foot-11, 175-pounder had 109 career starts for the Jaguars and Lions. He spent the last four years in Detroit, starting 38 games. He was released at the start of free agency.

John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.