Patriots re-sign CB Leigh Bodden to 4-year deal

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots have kept another free agent from leaving, re-signing cornerback Leigh Bodden to a four-year deal.

Bodden's deal, which was announced by his agent on Twitter, comes on the same day the Patriots confirmed that they re-signed defensive lineman Vince Wilfork. Wilfork and his agent announced the deal on Saturday.

"We don't think there's a better player on the marketplace for this team" than Wilfork, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said on WEEI-AM. "We've been able to sign a number of our guys this year that we felt were No. 1 or 2 in the marketplace."

The team also announced on Tuesday that offensive lineman Stephen Neal would return. Last week, the team re-upped pass rusher Tully Banta-Cain, part of the team's offseason philosophy to bring back its own players rather than make splashy and expensive new acquisitions.

"We're in the business of quality depth management," Kraft said. "If you lose someone you have to have depth. And if you don't have depth, you're in trouble."

The Patriots did lose linebacker Jarvis Green, who spent the first eight years of his career in New England before signing with the Denver Broncos on Tuesday.

"It's unfortunate in this business you can't keep everyone you want to keep," Kraft said.

Bodden was considered by many to be the top cornerback on the free agent market, and he visited the Texans on Monday but left Houston without agreeing to a deal. His agent, Alvin Keels, tweeted on Tuesday, "Leigh Bodden has officially agreed to terms with the New England Patriots on a 4 year deal thru the 2013 season."

Bodden had five interceptions last season — three of them against the New York Jets on Nov. 22, including one he returned 53 yards for a touchdown.

Kraft also revealed that the Patriots signed free agent linebacker Marques Murrell, a special teamer who played 26 games for the New York Jets.

Earlier in the day, the team announced that it had re-signed Neal, a college wrestler who was a part of the team's 2005 Super Bowl championship.

In 2008, Neal started the final nine games on a Patriots team that set rushing records in yards, touchdowns and yards per carry.

Last season, he was part of a line that allowed 18 sacks, the team's fewest since the league switched to a 16-game schedule in 1978.