Source: Pats, Lynch agree to one-year deal worth $1.5 million
A source said the deal was for $1.5 million.
"I thought Denver would be my last stop, but things happened and here I am," Lynch said Friday in Foxborough, according to The Associated Press.
"I've always admired the Patriot organization from afar," he said.
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 on Thursday and the Patriots finally officially announced the contract signing Friday.
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."
Belichick became interested in Lynch after losing safety Tank Williams for the season because of a knee injury suffered on Aug. 7 in a 16-15 preseason loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Williams was expected to be used 10-to-25 plays a game in certain defensive packages that needed a hard-hitting safety.
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.
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," said Belichick. "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."
Sanders became a starter last season, his third with the Patriots.
"Whatever moves they plan on making it'll be what's best for the team," Sanders said after Thursday's practice. "He's just a hard, tenacious hitter. He's a big guy and he brings it every time he makes a tackle. So he's a tempo setter."
Patriots defensive coordinator Dean Pees said Williams, who spent his first four seasons with Tennessee then played for Minnesota last season, had been playing well in camp.
"I hate to lose him. You hate to lose anybody," said Pees, a 36-year coaching veteran in high school, college and the NFL. "But when you've done it for as long as we've all done it, it happens every year. So somebody else has just got to step in and take his place."
After leaving Denver, Lynch said he could sign elsewhere.
Lynch, who spent his first 11 seasons with Tampa Bay, played every snap in Denver's last three games last season, but earlier he was taken out on passing downs.
John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
TRAINING CAMP 2008
Commentary/featuresWarner proves he has future
The Cardinals gave Kurt Warner the chance to compete with Matt Leinart for the starting spot, and the 37-year-old quarterback made the most of the opportunity. John Clayton
Pennington's learning curve
It seemed the Jets could not help Chad Pennington pack his bags fast enough. Now the most experienced QB on the Dolphins, he's relishing the chance to excel again.
• Kreidler: Future still promising for 49ers' Smith
• Clayton: Injuries impact preseason
• Seifert: A new approach in Detroit
• Smith: Favre drama a reality check for McNabb
• Kuharsky: Titans focused on defense
• Sando: Running key for Holmgren's swan song
• Mosley: Giants hope history teaches well
• Garber: Coughlin distances from SB win
• Williamson: Chiefs engergized by youth
• Chadiha: O-line might hold real keys for Jets
• Wickersham: Three tips for Favre
• Mosley: Giants done with celebrating
• Naylor: Canadian divide on NFL invasion
• Graham: Sleeper Bills | Blog: Yo, Canada
• Seifert: For a change, no distractions for Vikes
• Mosley: McNabb confident Eagles among elite
• Kuharsky: Garrard taking control
• Mosley: Eagles poised to return to prominence
• Clayton: Young on his way to elite status
• Kuharsky: Garrard ready to lead Jags
• Chadiha: Delhomme determined to seize moment
• Yasinskas: Smith's approach suits Falcons
• Mosley: Zorn's coaching desire finally fulfilled
• Williamson: Young Raiders share Kiffin's hunger
• Graham: Jets wiping slate clean
• Chadiha: Turner ready to lead Falcons
• Clayton: Vikings firmly in Jackson's corner
• Walker: Tough schedule awaits Steelers in 2008
• Mosley: Favre is QB turned ringmaster
• Clayton: 5 reasons Favre would start for Pack
• Graham: Patriots not dwelling on past
• Sando: Rams optimistic despite questions
• Williamson: Shanahan points to playoffs
• Walker: Bengals look to move past chaos
• Yasinskas: Delhomme, Peppers must step up
NFL blog network• NFL Nation blog
• AFC: North | South | East | West
• NFC: North | South | East | West
• Contact our bloggers
Camp Confidential training camp tourA breakdown of our annual camp tour:
• Wednesday, July 30: Chargers, Cowboys
• Thursday, July 31: Texans, 49ers
• Friday, Aug. 1: Patriots
• Saturday, Aug. 2: Bengals, Panthers
• Sunday, Aug. 3: Broncos
• Monday, Aug. 4: Rams
• Tuesday, Aug. 5: Steelers
• Wednesday, Aug. 6: Jets
• Thursday, Aug. 7: Raiders | Redskins
• Friday, Aug. 8: Falcons
• Saturday, Aug. 9: Jaguars
• Tuesday, Aug. 12: Eagles | Vikings
• Wednesday, Aug. 13: Bills
• Thursday, Aug. 14: Chiefs
• Friday, Aug. 15: Giants | Seahawks
• Saturday, Aug. 16: Bucs | Lions
• Sunday, Aug. 17: Browns
• Monday, Aug. 18: Titans
Video• NFL Insiders on Bills, Broncos, more
• Rachel Nichols on Favre, Jets
• NFL Live dissects ESPN.com power rankings
Audio• Podcast: Biggest questions
Scouts Inc.• Camp outlook: AFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Camp outlook: NFC Q&A on X's and O's
• Notable quarterback battles