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It was about this time a week ago when former Patriot Junior Seau was hosting a Rodeo. During the event, a bull was out of control and plowed over Seau. To the surprise of everyone, he jumped up, ran to the side and waved his cowboy hat to signal he was alright. It was there that Patriots fans knew he could still take a hit.
Now, ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Seau will sign with the Patriots this week, and possibly as soon as Monday. Should he sign, he would be able to come in and help a depleted linebacking corps that has seen injuries and retirements hurt its structure. Seau immediately gives the Patriots leadership in the middle and can help in moving the defense into the familiar 3-4 set. He can hopefully bring his intensity to help a defense that is allowing almost 18 points a game.
This is not the first time that Seau has stepped away from the game, only to return mid-season to help. After signing with New England in 2006 after his four-day retirement, he only lasted until November when he broke his forearm. Playing a complete year in 2007, he was named a defensive captain and helped the team complete a perfect regular season. Then last season, with Adalius Thomas out for the year, Seau returned to help the Patriots make a push for the playoffs, however the team missed playing in January despite going 11-5.
Junior Seau will be able to come in a join the linebacking that is led by Gary Guyton and Adaluis Thomas. Guyton has been the guy who stepped up his game since Jerod Mayo went down with a sprained MCL. Currently, Guyton is second on the team in tackles with 26 and his 17 solo tackles are tied for the team best. The other guy in charge, Thomas, is the only true linebacker to record a sack. The linebacking corps might be banged up, but the players taking the field are doing everything they can.
For Seau, he is looking to add to a 19-year career that includes 1,515 tackles, 18 interceptions and 56 1/2 sacks. His leadership could be the most important and helping the young linebackers progress. He has stated that he would only return to the Patriots because of his relationship with Bill Belichick and the Kraft family. With the losses the Patriots have taken on the defensive side of the ball, Belichick should be wanting him to sign.
Currently, New England has the eight ranked defense in the NFL. They have beaten top teams in the league, but the schedule doesn’t get easier from here. Seau will add depth and leadership and can keep the linebacking corps competing until the return of Mayo. If everything can be finished this week, it would be a pleasant and familiar scene to see Seau take the field on Sunday against Denver.