Don Davis, who led the Patriots with 25 special teams tackles last season, has signed a one-year, $795,000 contract extension to return to the team. The deal includes a $25,000 signing bonus.
The contract qualifies for the minimum salary benefit, meaning Davis will count just $485,000 against the salary cap.
Davis, who is entering his 11th NFL season, was one of 17 Patriots scheduled to become unrestricted free agents on March 3. Negotiating his extension without an agent, the 33-year-old said the deal came together shortly after the team's playoff loss to the Broncos Jan. 14.
''Being an older player and knowing my role with the team, it was pretty straightforward," he said. ''There wasn't a lot of negotiation involved with it."
Davis initially signed with the Patriots in 2003. He had previous stints with the Rams (2001-02), Buccaneers (1998-2000), and Saints (1996-98), after entering the league in 1995 as a rookie free agent with the Jets.
''When I started playing, the idea was to get vested [by playing three years]," Davis said. ''It was a struggle to get there, but once it happened, I was thinking, 'Maybe I can get two more.' And the years just kept adding. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be playing in Year 11."