Patriots re-sign veteran QB Testaverde

Aug 18, 2007 - 7:03 PM FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Vinny Testaverde will be on an NFL sideline for another season.

The New England Patriots on Saturday re-signed the 43-year-old quarterback, who will be going into his 21st season. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Testaverde has played in 226 NFL games with 208 starts since entering the league with Tampa Bay in 1987. He currently ranks in the top 10 in NFL history in four major passing categories, including sixth in both passing yards with 45,281 and completions with 3,693.

Testaverde's 270 career touchdown passes rank eighth in NFL history, and his 6,529 career attempts rank seventh.

The 6-5, 235-pound quarterback is a veteran of 20 seasons with Tampa Bay (1987-92), Cleveland (1993-95), Baltimore (1996-97), the New York Jets (1998-2003, 2005) Dallas (2004) and New England (2006).

Testaverde is the only player in NFL history to pass for at least one touchdown in 20 consecutive seasons. He threw a TD to Troy Brown against the Tennessee Titans on December 31, 2006, to extend his NFL-record streak. The previous NFL record of 18 consecutive seasons was held by Johnny Unitas and Fran Tarkenton.

Testaverde was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first overall pick in 1987 out of the University of Miami, where he won the 1986 Heisman Trophy. He spent six seasons with the Buccaneers and owns Tampa Bay's major career passing records with 2,160 attempts, 1,126 completions, 14,820 yards and 77 touchdowns.

Last season, Testaverde signed with the Patriots on Nov. 14, 2006 and appeared in three regular-season games. Testaverde's other career numbers include 261 interceptions and a 75.2 career passer rating. He has also recorded 421 career rushes for 1,639 yards and 15 touchdowns.

The Patriots on Saturday also released veteran defensive back Artrell Hawkins, second-year cornerback Gemara Williams and rookie linebacker Kyle Bissinger.

Hawkins, 30, is a veteran of nine NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (1998-2003), Carolina Panthers (2004) and New England Patriots (2005-06).

The 5-10, 195-pound defensive back has played in 122 career games with 92 starts and has totaled 482 tackles, including 415 solo, and four sacks. He also had 11 interceptions for 166 yards and a touchdown, 70 passes defensed, 12 forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and 33 special teams tackles.

Last season, Hawkins played in 14 games with 12 starts at safety and recorded 62 tackles, one interception and 15 special teams tackles.

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