Leon Washington is ready to do more than just return kicks and punts for the New England Patriots.
But if that’s all the free agent signee gets to do for his new team, the former Seattle Seahawk sounds ready to live with it.
“Ever since I was a rookie, I was always a team player,” Washington said Sunday, after the team’s first full-pads practice. “That’s been my main focus. Knowing I could so many different things well – running the ball, catching the ball, returning kicks, (I) even made tackles (on special teams) sometimes in my career.
“That’s the same approach I have here – coming in, helping the team out the best way I can.”
Washington, 31, debuted with the New York Jets and played the past three seasons with Seattle. A 98-yard kick return for a touchdown last year gave him eight kick return TDs in his seven-year career, tying him with Josh Cribbs for the NFL record.
Washington said he went to New England for the “obvious” reasons.
“You watch this organization from afar, you see how well they do things here,” he said. “It’s a winning organization. They believe in winning, they believe in competing.
“The most important thing that I love, that I’ve seen so far, is everybody is all about the team. Everybody is going to do whatever they do to help the team win. That’s impressive, watching it from afar. Everything when the guys come out and compete, hear them talking to the media, hear guys talking in the weight room, everything is all about the team.”
BRONCOS CENTER DONE
Denver center Dan Koppen is out for the season after tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in 9-on-7 drills, less than six weeks after rejoining Denver following J.D. Walton’s setback in his comeback from ankle surgery.
FOSS GRAD TO CARDINALS
Arizona signed free-agent rookie wide receiver Nicholas Edwards, a former Eastern Washington and Foss High School star.
The Cardinals also reached a contract agreement with first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper on a four-year deal worth about $14.5 million. The guard was the No. 7 overall pick out of North Carolina.
The Super Bowl champion Ravens signed free agent tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Tight end Dennis Pitta, expected to be a key weapon for Baltimore this season, is done for the season after undergoing hip surgery after getting hurt Saturday. Shiancoe played four games last season with New England after playing all 16 games in each of the previous nine seasons, the first four with the Giants and the next five with Minnesota. … Defensive end Mario Williams, the No. 1 overall pick in 2006, was held out of the Bills’ first training camp practice after complaining of a sore foot. … Philadelphia receiver Jeremy Maclin said he is likely done for the season after tearing the ACL on his right knee Saturday, the same injury he suffered at Missouri four years before. … An estimated 30,000 fans watched the Eagles’ first practice with pads under new coach Chip Kelly at Lincoln Financial Field. … Giants safety Will Hill said his recent four-game suspension was for using marijuana. … Six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb will officially retire as a member of the Eagles on Monday. McNabb, who played 11 of his 13 seasons with Philadelphia, last played in the NFL in 2011.