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Leon Washington joins Patriots

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 14, 2013 07:07 PM

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You probably can't get a better source: free agent kick returner/running back Leon Washington, who was in Foxborough Thursday to visit the Patriots, sent out a tweet Thursday evening saying that he's joined the team and included a photo of himself wearing a team cap.

The Patriots confirmed the signing a short time later.

A fourth-round draft pick of the Jets in 2006, the 5-foot-8-inch, 203-pound Washington has spent the last three seasons with Seattle after a draft day trade in 2010.

Last season, Washington had 27 kickoff returns for 784 yards (29.0 average) and one touchdown, and had 41 punt returns for 356 yards (8.7 average).

A three-time All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler, including last season, Washington became expendable in Seattle when the team traded for Percy Harvin.

Washington and Josh Cribbs are tied for the NFL record with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns.

He's not much of a contributor on offense -- he recorded 23 carries for 83 yards and a score last season -- but the Patriots have not had a kickoff return threat in several years. Jeff Demps, signed last year for that purpose, has expressed a desire to return to track.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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