Patriots sign ex-Jet Ihedigbo

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Patriots sign ex-Jet Ihedigbo

The Patriots bolstered their depleted safety corps, added some depth to their special teams and brought on a player from the rival Jets Friday night . . . all in one fell swoop.

The team signed hard-hitting free agent safety James Ihedigbo, a graduate of Amherst Regional High School and the University of Massachusetts who joined the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He was a key contributor as a backup in Rex Ryan's secondary, setting a career high with three sacks last season, and was second on the Jets with 27 special-teams tackles.

Ihedigbo, 27, was a favorite of Ryan and special teams coach Mike Westhoff, but -- despite early indications that the team wanted to re-sign him -- wasn't pursued in free agency by New York when the Jets re-signed Eric Smith and Brodney Pool, and added free agent DaJuan Morgan to bolster the safety spot, which includes Jim Leonhard and Emanuel Cook.

The Patriots' safety corps has been depleted by injuries to James Sanders and Bret Lockett. They had only three healthysafeties -- Brandon Meriweather, Patrick Chung, and Sergio Brown -- onthe roster.

Ihedigbo announced the news on Twitter, telling his followers: "Thanks to jetsfans for all the love an support greatly appreciate it's on to a new chapter.....I'm Officially a New England Patriot!!!!!!" The Patriots confirmed the signing later Friday evening.

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

Kraft on possible Patriots reunion with Revis: 'I would love it'

It was reported last week that multiple NFL executives are convinced that Darrelle Revis will return to the New England Patriots next season.

Talking with the New York Daily News, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’d be open to a reunion with the 31-year-old cornerback.

“I would love it,” Kraft said. “Speaking for myself, if he wanted to come back, he’s a great competitor, I’d welcome him if he wanted to come.”

Asked if the team has had discussions with Revis, Kraft said “ask my boy,” in reference to coach Bill Belichick.

Revis spent the 2014 season with the Patriots, helping them win Super Bowl XLIX. He bolted back to the New York Jets the next season, signing a five-year, $70 million contract ($39 million guaranteed).

The Jets released Revis earlier this month after the incident in Pittsburgh. A judge dismissed the charges.

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

Kraft says intention is not to trade Butler: 'We hope he's with us'

PHOENIX -- The idea that Malcolm Butler could be traded by the Patriots before the start of the 2017 season has been floated for weeks. But if Robert Kraft had his way, he'd like for the hero of Super Bowl XLIX to stick around. 

At the Biltmore hotel on Day 2 of the league's annual meetings, Kraft was asked if he anticipated having Butler back in New England for next season.

"I sure hope so," he said. "We have [a first-round tender] out to him, and I know he has the ability to go out in the market and get someone to sign him, and then we either match it or get the first-round draft pick.

"I'm rooting, I hope, he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us. I have a great affection for him. He was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that."

The Patriots can't trade any player who isn't under contract, and they can't talk about a trade for a player not on their roster. Therefore, even if the Patriots hoped to deal Butler and get something in return for the Pro Bowl-caliber corner before he hits unrestricted free agency in 2018, it's not something that the owner of the team would be at liberty to discuss with dozens of microphones in front of his face. 

The tender offer of $3.91 million for one season is still out there for Butler. He could sign it and play in New England. He could sign it and be traded. For now, Kraft says he's hoping for the former -- and insists that the Patriots didn't have designs on the latter all along.

"I don't want to, in any way, take away from his rights [as a restricted free agent]," he said, adding, "I want to be clear. I hope he's with us."