FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Last year, Arturo Freeman handed Tom Brady one of his worst days as a pro. Now they’re on the same side.

Hoping to bolster their injury-riddled secondary, the New England Patriots signed Freeman on Wednesday. The veteran safety spent his first five seasons with division rival Miami.

Freeman, 28, had a career-high four interceptions for the Dolphins last season, including one that clinched a 29-28 victory over the Patriots in December. Brady threw four interceptions in that game, tying a career high, as the Patriots blew an 11-point lead with less than four minutes remaining.

“That’s the first thing a lot of people say,” Freeman said Thursday. “They mention winning the game last year against these guys, the last interception. But I’m here now.”

The Dolphins released Freeman in February. When the Patriots called, he was out of work, having failed to catch on with either the Packers or Titans during training camp.

“I’ve been battling with these guys for five seasons,” Freeman said of the Patriots.

“I know the intangibles of going against them. What I’ve learned being here for a couple of days is that it’s professional -their guys work. … That’s why they are where they are.”

The Patriots are two-time defending Super Bowl champions, but their 22nd-ranked pass defense could use some help.

New England’s defensive backs haven’t recorded an interception this season after accounting for 14 of the team’s 20 interceptions last season and 22 of 29 in 2003. Over the last two games, the Patriots have struggled against San Diego quarterback Drew Brees and Atlanta backup Matt Schaub.

New England lost strong safety Rodney Harrison to season-ending knee injury in Week 3. On Wednesday, they put veteran cornerback Chad Scott on injured reserve with a shoulder problem.

“It’s a tough break for him,” head coach Bill Belichick said of Scott, who had played in three of the team’s first five games after signing as a free agent. “It’s a tough break for us. I wish it hadn’t happened.”

Five of the Patriots’ 10 defensive backs were on Wednesday’s injury report. All of them were listed as probable, including cornerbacks Tyrone Poole and Randall Gay, who are hampered by ankle injuries.

Poole has missed the last four games. Gay has missed the last three.

AP-ES-10-13-05 1716EDT


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