Talented but underachieving wide receiver David Terrell, released by the Chicago Bears on Feb. 28, has reached agreement in principle on a one-year contract with the New England Patriots, a deal that provides the Super Bowl champions with an intriguing deep threat.
Financial details of the contract, which is expected to be signed early this week, were not available. Terrell was entering the final year of his original contract in Chicago when he was released.
Terrell, 26, was courted in free agency by several other teams, among them the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Bucs. Key to his signing with the Patriots, beyond the chance to resuscitate his career with a winning organization, was the opportunity to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady, a former University of Michigan teammate.
Over the past few weeks, Brady has urged New England officials to sign Terrell.
It is not known if the acquisition of Terrell will preclude New England from re-signing wide receiver Troy Brown, released last month by the Patriots for salary cap reasons. A longtime fan favorite in New England, and a player who subjugated his own individual numbers by playing cornerback in 2004 to help the team cope with injuries in the secondary, Brown remains in the free agent market. There has been considerable speculation that Brown might re-join the Patriots at some point.
The Patriots lost No. 3 wideout David Patten, who defected to Washington as an unrestricted free agent, and Terrell may be able to replace him as a deep threat.
Chosen by the Bears in the first round of the 2001 draft, the eighth prospect selected overall that year, Terrell was supposed to bring to Chicago the big playmaking skills he demonstrated at the college level. Problems on and off the field, however, kept Terrell from fulfilling his potential in four seasons with the Bears.
In 53 games, including 29 starts, Terrell had 128 catches for 1,602 yards and nine touchdowns. He started a career-high 15 games in 2004 and posted 42 receptions for 699 yards. In defense of Terrell, who has suffered through stretches of inconsistency, Chicago was forever shuffling quarterbacks during his tenure and the offensive design wasn't always conducive to his success.
Terrell is representative of the kind of player the Patriots are so adept at rehabilitating, a veteran with still-solid skills, one who could emerge when put into a winning situation.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.