Gaffney: 'This is where I wanted to be'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Jabar Gaffney said it was a "shocker" to be released by the Redskins last month, but he knew it wouldn't take him long to find work at a familiar place.

The veteran receiver signed with the Patriots six days later, returning to New England, where he spent three seasons from 2006-2008. It was an easy decision.

"You go other places and you realize what you had here," he explained. "Coach Belichick is a one of a kind coach and coming back here reminded me of that real quick."

Originally a mid-season addition of the Patriots in 2006, Gaffney became a trusted target of quarterback Tom Brady.

"We have a great relationship on and off the field. On the field we just have that rapport with each other," Gaffney said after practice Thursday. "He knows where I’m going to be and I know he’s going to put it right there. So I mean, I have all the confidence in him and he has all the confidence in me and that’s a great thing."

Gaffney eventually followed Josh McDaniels to the Broncos on a four-year, $10 million deal in 2009, and was traded to the Redskins last summer.

"The experience was good, it was good," Gaffney said of signing with Denver. "Going there and having Josh [McDaniels] there helped out. That kept me in this offense, just in a different uniform.

"It was real tough. It was a decision that had to be made and I wanted to stay, I wanted to stay, but with Josh [McDaniels] going there it was like I was taking a piece of the Patriots with me. I’m just glad that it worked out and I was able to return."

With McDaniels returning to the Patriots this offseason, the situation could hardly be better for the 31-year old Gaffney, who started 15 games for the Redskins last season, registering career highs with 68 catches for 947 yards and five touchdowns.

"It’s one of the only places I’d like to be. I loved it here during my time and when I got cut and [the Patriots] called and Coach Belichick called and told me that we could work it out," Gaffney said. "This is where I wanted to be."