FOXBORO MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Jordan Shipley #11 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by James Sanders #26 of the New England Patriots during the NFL season opener on September 12 2010 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

James Sanders, Atlanta Falcons Agree To One-Year Deal, According To Report

Free agent safety James Sanders reached a one-year agreement with the Atlanta Falcons late Tuesday night, according to reports.

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James Sanders, Atlanta Falcons Agree To One-Year Deal, According To Report

Free agent safety James Sanders reached a one-year agreement with the Atlanta Falcons late Tuesday night, according to reports from ESPN's Adam Schefter. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Selected out of Fresno State in the fourth round of the 2005 NFL Draft, Sanders became an immediate contributor in the New England Patriots' secondary. The 27-year-old participated in 84 games throughout seven years -- starting during the majority of New England's undefeated 16-0 regular season in 2007 -- while collecting 301 tackles, eight interceptions, and two touchdowns. 

Praised by his teammates and coaches for displaying fanatic leadership in the face of a suddenly shrinking role, Sanders was caught by surprise upon hearing about his release from the franchise, as he explained to ESPN's Mike Reiss.

"It was a shock. It wasn't one of the things I was expecting to hear today. It didn't cross my mind," Sanders said Monday afternoon.

The veteran now joins a Falcons secondary led by incumbent starters Thomas DeCoud and William Moore.

For more on the signing of James Sanders and how it impacts the Atlanta Falcons, check out The Falcoholic.

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James Sanders To Visit Atlanta Falcons Tuesday, According To Report

Released by the New England Patriots on Monday, free agent safety James Sanders will visit the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

A fourth-round pick out of Fresno State in 2005, Sanders has been a part-time starter in New England over the last six seasons. In 84 games (50 starts), Sanders has 301 tackles, one quarterback sack and eight interceptions, including a career-high three in 2010.

Sanders was due $2.8 million in base salary in 2011, the final year of his current contract, and was surprised by his release.

"It was a shock. It wasn't one of the things I was expecting to hear today. It didn't cross my mind," Sanders said via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston.

By releasing Sanders now, and not trading him, the Patriots give the seventh-year veteran a chance to find his own team. The Falcons are a logical landing spot for Sanders. Not only was Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff was the Patriots' Director of College Scouting when Sanders was drafted, the Falcons may like to provide a challenge to incumbents Thomas DeCoud and William Moore.

For more on the Falcons, visit The Falcoholic.

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James Sanders Cut By New England Patriots

The Patriots surprisingly let go of safety James Sanders, leaving the team thin in the secondary.

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