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Patriots claim two players off waivers; reach the 53-man roster limit

FOXBORO, MASS. –The New England Patriots claimed linebacker Matt Chatham and tight end Chris Fontenot off of waivers today. With these two transactions, the Patriots are now at the 53-man roster limit.

Chatham, 23, played in all four of the St. Louis Rams preseason games and recorded three defensive tackles and one special teams tackle. He was waived by the Rams on Aug. 25, 2000.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 240-pound linebacker was originally signed by the Rams as a rookie free agent on April 19, 1999, but was released during camp on July 30, 1999. He re-signed with the Rams and spent the entire 2000 preseason with St. Louis. Chatham totaled 74 tackles (41 solos) and one interception during his senior season at South Dakota.

Fontenot, 26, caught three passes for 29 yards (9.7 avg.) during the 2000 preseason. He was signed as a free agent by the Raiders in March of 2000 and played in three games, including one start, before being released Aug. 22. He was claimed off of waivers by the Cowboys on Aug. 23 and played in one game, but did not record any catches. He was waived by the Cowboys on Aug. 27.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 250-pound tight end was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins following the 1998 NFL draft, but was waived following training camp. He was claimed by Kansas City and placed on their practice squad two days later. He was signed onto the Philadelphia Eagles active roster from the Chiefs practice squad on Oct. 29, 1998. He played in the Eagles final five games of the regular season and caught eight passes for 90 yards. He did not play during the 1999 season after spending training camp and the preseason with Philadelphia.

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