The Denver Broncos on Sunday signed unrestricted free-agent long snapper Lonie Paxton, it was announced. As per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The club also released tight end/long snapper Mike Leach, who spent the previous seven seasons with the Broncos.
Paxton (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) is a 10th-year player who spent his first nine professional seasons with New England, which signed him in 2000 as a college free agent from Sacramento State University. He played in 155 of a possible 161 games (regular season and postseason) in nine years with the Patriots from 2000-08, helping the club to three Super Bowl titles, six division titles and eight winning seasons during that time.
For his career, Paxton has played in 141 regular-season games and 14 postseason contests while seeing time in every game during eight of his nine NFL seasons. He has not missed a game in the last five seasons, handling long-snapping duties for the Patriots in 80 consecutive regular-season games and 91 overall games in a row dating back to the start of the 2004 campaign.
A key member of the Patriots' Super Bowl-winning teams during the 2001 (XXXVI), '03 (XXXVIII) and '04 (XXXIX) seasons, Paxton owns 14 career special-teams tackles in the regular season and three such stops in the playoffs.
Paxton was a four-year starter along the offensive line and served as long snapper for Sacramento State from 1996-99. He attended Centennial High School in Corona, Calif., and was born on March 13, 1978.