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Patriots nab return man Washington

Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - Looking to add a spark to a lackluster kick- return unit, the New England Patriots reached an agreement with 2012 Pro Bowl honoree Leon Washington on an undisclosed contract.

Washington led the NFC with an average of 29.0 yards per kick return while with Seattle this past season, but was released by the Seahawks earlier this week after that team's acquisition of versatile wideout Percy Harvin from Minnesota.

The 30-year-old, who spent four seasons with the rival New York Jets prior to being traded to Seattle in 2010, also went to the Pro Bowl as a return specialist during his first year with the Seahawks. Washington took back three kicks for touchdowns that season and owns eight for his career, tied for the most in NFL history.

New England ranked just 25th in the NFL in kick return average in 2012 and may have to replace its two primary punt returners from last year, with Wes Welker signing with Denver on Wednesday and Julian Edelman still a free agent.

Washington owns a career average of 25.9 yards per kick return and 9.9 yards per punt runback, and has also recorded 2,213 rushing yards and 146 receptions over his seven NFL seasons.

03/14 19:50:35 ET

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