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McCrary appears to be choice at fullback

According to a published report in today's Naples (Fla.) Daily News the Patriots have reached a two-year agreement with veteran free agent fullback Fred McCrary. The deal will reportedly pay McCrary slightly more than $725,000 a year. The team could not confirm the signing late Saturday and calls to McCrary's agent, Steve Feldman, were not immediately returned.

The 6-foot, 245-pound McCrary is a seven-year NFL veteran who spent the last four seasons with the San Diego Chargers. He started all 16 games in 2002 and finished the year with 22 receptions for 96 yards and three touchdowns while carrying the ball just twice for one yard. McCrary is a durable blocking fullback who has missed just one game over the last four seasons and played a big part in the success of young running back LaDainian Tomlinson in his first two seasons in the NFL.

"They made me feel wanted," the 30-year-old McCrary told the Naples Daily News on Friday night. "Bill Belichick called the house and talked to me and my wife. I'm in a good situation coming in as the starting fullback and they're just two years removed from winning the Super Bowl."

McCrary also said he is hopeful that he can add to the New England running game in the same manner he contributed in San Diego. Tomlinson rushed for 1,683 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Chargers last season.

"I'm hoping I can do the same thing for [Antowain] Smith that I did for LaDainian," McCrary said.

For his career McCrary has played in 83 games with 58 starts in time with the Chargers, Saints and Eagles. He has totaled 103 receptions for 586 yards and six touchdowns and has carried the ball 22 times for 28 yards and one score.

McCrary came into the league as a sixth-round pick by the Eagles out of Mississippi State in 1995.

McCrary was released by San Diego in a salary cap move on Feb. 28.

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