Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Seau is Newest Return Man

He has taken on a number of interesting sports jobs for his Versus TV show, which will debut Dec. 2.

He has been a member of Scott Dixon’s pit crew, Natalie Gulbis’s caddie, a Los Angeles Dodgers bat boy, an equipment manager with the Washington Capitals, a member of the bull gang at TD Garden, and a rodeo clown on the Pro Bull Riders tour, getting first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be bulldozed by a rip-snorting Brahma.

But the only sports job that Junior Seau was really meant to have was NFL linebacker.

And Versus reported yesterday that the 40-year-old Seau had signed a contract with the Patriots to play a 20th NFL season, although the team did not announce the transaction or make a corresponding move to make room on the 53-man roster.

“I’m very fortunate and honored to be involved with two class organizations - the New England Patriots and Versus,’’ said Seau in a press release. “I want to thank the management of both for making my return to the NFL with the New England Patriots a reality.’’

While coach Bill Belichick declined to confirm the signing, saying, “We don’t have anything to say about it,’’ CEO and chairman Robert Kraft seemed to indicate it was only a formality.

Asked at the league meetings in Boston if Seau was a Patriot again, Kraft said, “I hope he is. At some point he will be.’’

Asked if Seau ranked as one of his favorite players, Kraft said, “Oh yeah, he gave a speech to our group. He gives speeches to the players in the locker room and there aren’t many coaches that could inspire and motivate other players. He is a unique individual with a unique physical frame and unique mental acumen. I’d love to have him part of our team for as long as he wants to be.’’

Seau, who came out of retirement to play four games for the Patriots last season, would be on his fourth tour in Foxborough. He played 11 games in 2006 before suffering an arm injury, and played all 16 games in 2007.

Patriots player personnel director Nick Caserio confirmed only that the team had worked out Seau recently and had him take a physical.

“The reality is, we’re just trying to see where the player’s level of physical conditioning may be and whether he’s in good enough shape to make it through a practice,’’ Caserio said. “He looked like he’s kept himself in shape.’’

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