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Patriots claim S Rashad Baker off of waivers; Release CB Antwain Spann and G Dan Stevenson

The New England Patriots have claimed third-year safety Rashad Baker off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings. Additionally, New England has released first-year cornerback Antwain Spann from the active roster and has released rookie guard Dan Stevenson from the practice squad.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have claimed third-year safety Rashad Baker off of waivers from the Minnesota Vikings. Additionally, New England has released first-year cornerback Antwain Spann from the active roster and has released rookie guard Dan Stevenson from the practice squad.

Baker, 24, has played in 29 career games with three starts for the Buffalo Bills (2003-04) and Minnesota Vikings (2005). The 5-foot-10-inch, 198-pound defensive back was originally signed by the Bills as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Tennessee in April, 2004. As a rookie, Baker played in 14 games with three starts for Buffalo and recorded 40 tackles (16 solo), one interception, a forced fumble and seven special teams tackles. Last season with Buffalo, the Camden, N.J. native played in 14 games and recorded 13 tackles (4 solo), including one sack, and also recorded an interception while adding 12 special teams tackles. He was released by the Bills in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 2, 2006 and signed with the Minnesota Vikings the following day. This season with the Vikings, Baker played in one game and recorded one special teams tackle. For his career, Baker has recorded 53 tackles (20 solo), one sack, two interceptions, two passes defensed, one forced fumble and 20 special teams tackles.

Spann, 23, made his NFL debut with the Patriots on Oct. 1, 2006 and has played in four career games while recording four special teams tackles. The 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback was signed to the Patriots' active roster from their practice squad on Sept. 30, 2006. Spann was originally signed by the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana-Lafayette on April 17, 2005. He was released by the Giants on Aug. 30, 2005 and signed to the Patriots practice squad on Jan. 2, 2006. He was signed to New England's active roster on Jan. 30, 2006 and was allocated to the NFL Europe League, where he played in six games with three starts for the Rhein Fire. He was released by the Patriots in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 2, 2006 and re-joined the Patriots practice squad the following day.

Stevenson, 24, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round (205th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-5-inch, 300-pound offensive lineman was released by the Patriots in the final preseason roster cutdown on Sept. 2, 2006 and was signed to the practice squad the following day. Stevenson played for the University of Notre Dame for four years from 2002-05, starting 35 of 45 career games.

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