|Saturday, July 6
After released by Jets, Scott lands with Pats
By Len Pasquarelli
Having learned the significance of roster depth during their Super Bowl championship season in 2001, the New England Patriots didn't forgot that key lesson, claiming young defensive back Tony Scott on waivers Friday.
Released last week by the New York Jets, the two-year veteran joins an already crowded secondary unit, and creates even more competition for places in the "nickel" and "dime" coverage packages and also on special teams.
Scott was released by the cap-strapped Jets so that the team could sign two "street" free agents, one each on the offensive and defensive lines. But the former North Carolina State star also never fit in with the Herman Edwards coaching staff and would have had a difficult time making the New York roster.
He comes relatively cheap, with a 2002 base salary of $375,000, having re-signed with the Jets in April as an "exclusive rights" free agent. New England officials want to add a "split" provision to Scott's deal, which would pay him less than his scheduled base salary if he was injured in training camp.
The Patriots like Scott's size, quickness, ability to break on the ball, and the fact he can probably line up at either cornerback or safety. He is expected to battle with backups like Leonard Myers, Tom Knight, Antwan Harris and Brock Williams for playing time in "nickel" and "dime" situations.
In 23 appearances with the Jets over two seasons, Scott, a sixth-round choice in the 2000 draft, had one interception, one pass defensed, one tackle from scrimmage and 10 tackles on special teams units.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.