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Eight Patriots to play in NFL Europe

The Patriots allocated eight players on Tuesday, including three that spent time on the team's 2002 practice squad, to NFL Europe for the 2003 season.

Wide receiver Scott McCready and cornerback Dyshod Carter both finished the year on the Patriots practice squad, while wide receiver T.C. Taylor spent two separate stretches on the squad earlier in the year. The five other allocated Patriots were quarterback Shane Stafford, fullback Mike Malan, guard Mike Clare, tight end Rodney Trafford and linebacker Courtney Ledyard.

Ledyard, a 6-2, 250-pounder out of Michigan State, and Trafford, a 6-3, 250-pounder from South Carolina, were both selected in the NFL Europe Allocation Draft. The Rhein Fire selected Ledyard in the first round, while the Scotland selected Trafford in round 11. The six other allocated Patriots were assigned to their teams by the league.

Stafford is a 6-3, 220-pound quarterback out of the University of Connecticut and was assigned to the Scottish Claymores as well. The 26-year old former Connecticut starting signal caller spent the last two seasons with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. This past season he completed 203-of-323 passes for 2,164 yards and 39 touchdowns with just 7 interceptions. In his career at Connecticut he started 38-of-40 games, completing 563-of-1,026 passes for 8,975 yards and 73 touchdowns with 29 interceptions.

The 5-11, 235-pound Malan is a product of Brown University. The St. Louis native spent training camp 2002 with the Rams and spent the first week of the year on the team's practice squad before being released and spending the remainder of the season out of football. He was allocated to the Scottish Claymores.

The Claymores will be the team to follow in New England as the squad will also be home for McCready and Carter as well as the aforementioned Strafford, Trafford and Malan. The 6-0, 200-pound McCready spent last season with the Claymores where he caught 22 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

Taylor will play for the Barcelona Dragons and Clare with the Frankfurt Galaxy.

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