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OL Ross Tucker signed; Michael Cloud released

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed free agent offensive lineman Ross Tucker today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. To make room for Tucker on the 53-man roster, the Patriots released running back Michael Cloud. Additionally, the team announced that guard Ryan Krug has been released from the practice squad. Tucker will wear number 69 for the Patriots.

Tucker, 26, is in his fifth NFL season and has played in 41 career games with 24 starts since being signed by the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2001 season. The 6-foot-4-inch, 316-pound offensive lineman has played for the Redskins (2001-02), Dallas Cowboys (2002) and Buffalo Bills (2003-04). The Princeton product played in three games as a rookie for the Redskins in 2001 and played for Washington in three of the first six games in 2002 before being waived on Oct. 22, 2002. He was claimed off waivers by Dallas the following day and started at left guard for the Cowboys in the final seven games of the 2002 season. Tucker was signed by the Buffalo Bills prior to the 2003 season and played in 28 games with 17 starts over the next two seasons. Last year, he played in all 16 games for the Bills with 12 starting assignments (four games at center and the final eight games at left guard). The Wyomissing, Pa. native was with Buffalo through 2005 training camp before being released in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 4, 2005.

Cloud, 30, has played in six games for the Patriots this season and has recorded 23 rushes for 59 yards. He was signed by New England as a free agent on Nov. 4 and played in four games before being released on Nov. 29 and later re-signed on Dec. 2. The 5-foot-10-inch, 205-pound running back is in his seventh NFL season and has played in 77 career games with seven starts and has recorded 192 rushes for 648 yards and 12 touchdowns, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs (1999-2002), New York Giants (2004) and the Patriots (2003, 2005). He played in five games for the Patriots in the 2003 season, starting one, and ran the ball 27 times for 118 yards and a team-high five touchdowns.

Krug, 23, was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent on April 29, 2005. The 6-foot-4-inch, 305-pound offensive lineman played for the Patriots in the 2005 preseason before being released on Sept. 3, 2005. Krug, who attended the University of Connecticut, was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 4, released from the practice squad on Sept. 8, and later re-signed to the practice squad on Sept. 28.

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