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Childress to 53-man squad; Jonathan Smith released

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots have signed first-year wide receiver Bam Childress to the active roster from their practice squad. New England has also released wide receiver Jonathan Smith.

Childress, 24, was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent on July 24, 2005. The 5-foot-10-inch, 185-pound wide receiver was a member of the Patriots practice squad for the first 16 weeks of the 2005 season before being signed to the active roster on Dec. 31, 2005, the day before New England's regular-season finale against Miami. In that game, Childress' only NFL contest, he led the team with three receptions for 32 yards and also collected five tackles (2 solo) while playing in the defensive backfield. In the 2006 preseason, Childress led the Patriots with 214 receiving yards and a 19.5-yard average per catch, while finishing second on the team with 11 preseason receptions.

Smith, 24, was claimed off of waivers by the Patriots from the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 3, 2006. The 5-foot-10-inch, 194-pound wide receiver originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round (214th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He has played in 16 career games, all with the Bills, and has started one career contest. His NFL totals include eight receptions for 77 yards (9.6 avg.) and a touchdown, six kickoff returns for 152 yards (25.3 avg.), 15 punt returns for 198 yards (13.2 avg.) and a touchdown, and three rushes for 12 yards.

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