FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed linebacker Albert McClellan and defensive back Obi Melifonwu (oh-BEE - mell-uf-FAWN-woo). Terms of the contracts were not announced. The Patriots have released offensive lineman Cole Croston and defensive lineman Geneo Grissom from the 53-man roster. New England has also placed offensive lineman Brian Schwenke on injured reserve and released running back Kenneth Farrow from the practice squad.
McClellan, 32, originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie free agent out of Marshall on May 7, 2010. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder spent his rookie season on the Baltimore practice squad. McClellan made the 53-man roster in 2011 and from 2011-16 he appeared in 90 regular-season games with 24 starts and posted 116 tackles, three sacks, three passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and 53 special teams tackles. He also appeared in eight postseason contests as a reserve and made six special teams tackles. McClellan suffered an injury during training camp last year and spent the 2017 season on injured reserve. He was released by Baltimore prior to the start of the 2018 season and re-signed on Sept. 17, 2018. McClellan appeared in six games with one start this season and posted one tackle before being released on Oct. 30
Melifonwu, 24, was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the second round (56th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Connecticut. The 6-foot-4, 224-pounder began his rookie campaign on injured reserve before being activated to Oakland’s 53-man roster on Nov. 4. He appeared in five games with one start and registered six tackles on defense and one on special teams before being placed on injured reserve on Dec. 15. Melifonwu’s lone start for the Raiders came on Nov. 19, 2017 against the Patriots in Mexico City. He posted three tackles. He was placed on injured reserve prior to the start of the 2018 season before being released on Oct. 23. The South Grafton, Mass., native played in 48 games in his four-year career at UConn, finishing with 351 tackles, eight interceptions, 16 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Croston, 24, was signed by New England to the 53-man roster from the practice squad on Sept. 15, 2018. The 6-foot-5, 310-pounder was released by the Patriots at the end of training camp this year and signed to the practice squad. Croston was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Iowa on May 5, 2017. He made the 53-man roster out of training camp last season and appeared in three regular-season games and the AFC Championship Game as a rookie. He was a healthy scratch for 13 regular-season contests as well as the Divisional Playoff and Super Bowl.
Grissom, 26, was signed originally drafted by New England in the third round (97th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma. The six-foot-four, 265-pounder has spent time on the practice squad and active roster over three-plus seasons with the team, playing in 37 regular-season games as a reserve and tallying seven tackles, one sack and seven special teams-tackles. Grissom has also appeared in six playoff contests as a reserve and posted two tackles, two sacks and two special-teams tackles.
Schwenke, 27, was released by New England prior to the start of the regular season and signed to the 53-man roster on Sept. 4, 2018. The 6-foot-3, 318-pounder appeared in three games this season and was inactive for six others. Schwenke is a veteran of five NFL seasons with the Tennessee Titans. He originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick (107th overall) by Tennessee out of California in the 2013 NFL Draft. He was signed by Indianapolis as an unrestricted free agent on March 14, 2017 and was released at the end of training camp and re-signed by Tennessee on Sept. 4, 2017. Schwenke has played in 57 NFL games with 30 starts, including 25 starts at center and five at left guard. He also played in two postseason games in 2017 for the Titans. He made his first 25 starts at center and then made five starts over the last two seasons at left guard. In 2017, Schwenke played in 16 games with two starts at left guard and then saw action as a reserve in the postseason.
Farrow, 25, has had two separate practice squad stints this season. The 5-foot-9, 219-pounder originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with San Diego out of Houston in 2016. Farrow played in 13 games with two starts as a rookie and totaled 60 rushing attempts for 192 yards and 13 receptions for 70 yards. He sat out the 2017 season on injured reserve and was released by the Chargers on April 13, 2018. He was signed by New England on Aug. 27, and released on Sept. 1.