New England Patriots: Team Re-Signs Veteran Safety James Ihedigbo

Oliver Thomas@OliverBThomasContributor IJune 22, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Saftey James Ihedigbo #44 of the New England Patriots attempts to go after a loose ball from the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The New England Patriots have announced the signing of veteran safety James Ihedigbo, per the team's official Twitter account:

#Patriots re-sign safety James Ihedigbo

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 22, 2012

The 28-year-old was signed by New England last August and stepped into a prominent role due to injuries in the secondary. Ihedigbo started 12 of 16 games during the regular season—registering 69 total tackles.

From 2007 to 2010, Ihedigbo was a member of the New York Jets, where he played primarily on special teams. However, the defensive back did showcase some playmaking abilities in New York—recording five total sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the 6'1", 215-pound UMass product reportedly underwent offseason shoulder surgery, but agreeing to terms with the Patriots should indicate that he's healthy.

Ihedigbo joins a crowded safety corps which includes Patrick Chung, Steve Gregory, Tavon Wilson, Josh Barrett, Nate Ebner, Ross Ventrone, Will Allen and Sergio Brown.

If Ihedigbo makes the 53-man roster, he could very well earn some starts at strong safety. Although, special teams prowess is his greatest asset.

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