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Patriots claim ex-Bills WR Smith off waivers

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Sept. 3, 2006) -- The New England Patriots claimed wide receiver Jonathan Smith off waivers, released wide receiver Bam Childress and placed six players on the practice squad.

Smith was waived Sept. 2 by the Buffalo Bills, who drafted him in the seventh round in 2004 out of Georgia Tech. He started one of his 16 NFL games and caught eight passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a punt for a touchdown at New England on Nov. 14, 2004.

The Patriots signed Childress as an undrafted free agent on July 24, 2005. He spent 16 weeks on the practice squad before catching three passes for 32 yards in the season finale against Miami.

The players placed on the practice squad were offensive linemen Billy Yates and Dan Stevenson, wide receiver Kelvin Kight, defensive lineman Santonio Thomas, linebacker Corey Mays and cornerback Antwain Spann. The Patriots still have two openings on the practice squad.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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