Patriots sign veteran FB Centers

Updated: July 30, 2003, 5:28 PM ET

FOXBORO, Massachusetts - Larry Centers, the NFL's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards by a running back, signed Wednesday with the New England Patriots.

Terms were not disclosed, but the Boston Herald reported Monday that it is a one-year deal.

Centers, 35, has caught 808 passes for 6,691 yards. He spent the last two seasons with the Buffalo Bills and had 43 receptions for 388 yards in 2002.

The Patriots' need for backfield help was heightened by a leg injury to free agent fullback Fred McCrary, who has yet to take the field at training camp.

"I think this system fits what I do well," Centers said. "It gives me an opportunity to catch a lot of footballs and be productive, the things that I've done throughout my career. I'm excited about it."

A 13-year veteran, Centers also has played for the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins. His best season with 1995, when he set an NFL record for a running back with 101 catches for 962 yards and two touchdowns with Arizona.

New England also released rookie linebacker Jason Hunt, who signed as an undrafted free agent on May 2.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index