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Dwight charged up to become a Patriot

Free agent wide receiver Tim Dwight has decided to accept the Patriots' contract offer, though as of late yesterday, the team had not announced the signing.

The veteran speedster played sparingly with the Chargers last season (two receptions in 12 games), in large part because of a nasty toe injury that kept him from practicing much of the season. Dwight was cut Feb. 22.

The contract with the Patriots is a one-year agreement that Dwight's agent, Jack Bechta, described as "heavily incentive-based."

"We decided to do it that way because Tim's coming off a broken toe and didn't get to show his wares last season," Bechta said. "We think it's a great match. It's the opportunity to play with a quality organization, a great quarterback, and a really good offense.

"When a championship team comes knocking on your door, that's one thing you have to pay attention to."

Dwight, also slowed by a hamstring problem in 2004, had surgery on a bone in his foot at the end of the season and expects a full recovery. Dwight has been with San Diego since 2001, arriving as part of a trade with Atlanta that netted the Falcons the No. 1 overall draft pick it used to take quarterback Michael Vick.

Dwight's best season with San Diego came in 2002, his only season as a starter, when he caught 50 passes for 623 yards. He has been a valuable return man throughout his career, and despite his injuries, finished 10th in the league last season in kickoff returns with an average of 24.4 yards on 50 runbacks. It was the second-highest average of his career, behind his 27-yard average as a rookie in 1998.

The Dwight acquisition could mean the re-signing of receiver Troy Brown, waived just before the free agency period began, may not happen. However, New England also lost veteran David Patten, who signed with Washington. Patten was second on the team in receptions last season with 44.

"Tim and I are both big fans of Troy Brown and we think Tim can come in and pick up a lot of the slack of the things he did for the team," Bechta said.

Last week the Patriots tendered a one-year offer to David Givens, and are likely to negotiate a long-term deal with the team's leader in receptions and receiving yards last season.

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