BOSTON The Chicago Bears traded veteran nose tackle Ted Washington to the New England Patriots on Tuesday for a fourth-round pick in the 2004 NFL draft.
Washington, 35, is a four-time Pro Bowl selection. He has 852 career tackles and 29 sacks in 12 seasons with San Francisco, Denver, Buffalo and Chicago.
The Bears get the Washington Redskins' fourth-round draft choice in 2004. The Patriots had obtained the Redskins' selection for two picks in the 2003 draft.
''We have a lot of respect for Ted's play over the years,'' Patriots coach Bill Belichick said, ''and we're excited about getting to work with him.''
Washington is the second Chicago defender to join the Patriots this season. Free agent linebacker Rosevelt Colvin signed with the Patriots during the offseason.
Washington, a 6-foot-4, 375-pound lineman, was drafted by San Francisco in the first round in 1991 out of Louisville. He had three straight 100-plus tackle seasons for the Bills from 1996-98.
Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said the team's depth on the defensive line, most notably the development of Bryan Robinson, gave the team options at that position.
''Ted's still a good football player. We realize that, and New England does, too,'' he said. ''He gave it his best and played well. We just decided we were in a better situation given our young players.''
Washington missed most of last season with a ruptured ligament in his left foot and a broken bone in his left ankle. But Angelo said Washington had been healthy in training camp.
''Most trades are contingent on passing a physical, and Ted didn't miss practice,'' Angelo said of Washington's condition. ''He's a true veteran who has played a lot of years. He's not the same player he was five or six years ago but he's still a good football player.''
The Patriots waived wide receiver DeVeren Johnson and offensive lineman Jasen Esposito on Tuesday.
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