FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots re-signed exclusive rights free agent linebacker Eric Alexander today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Additionally, the team released three players signed as rookie free agents this spring -- tight end Tyson DeVree, defensive lineman Henry Smith and defensive lineman Casey Tyler.
Alexander, 26, has played in 30 games over four seasons with the Patriots from 2004-07. The 6-foot-2-inch, 240-pound linebacker has recorded eight tackles (7 solo) and 26 special teams tackles in his career. Last season, Alexander set a career high with 14 special teams tackles, a total that ranked fourth on the team. The Louisiana State product was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 29, 2004. He was a member of the Patriots practice squad for the first 14 weeks of the 2004 season and was signed to the active roster on Dec. 20, 2004. He played in the final three games of the 2004 season, recording a pair of special teams tackles. In 2005, he played in one game and was a member of the practice squad for the remainder of the campaign. He spent the entire 2006 campaign on the active roster, playing in 14 regular-season games and notching 10 special teams tackles. He played in all three 2006 playoff contests and recorded his first career start in the 2006 AFC Championship Game, leading the team with 10 solo tackles.
DeVree, 23, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 5, 2008. He finished his college career at the University of Colorado (2006-07) after transferring from Western Michigan (2003-04) after his sophomore year. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound tight end played in 44 collegiate games making 96 receptions for 987 yards and 15 receiving touchdowns.
Smith, 24, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 2, 2008. He played two seasons at Texas A&M (2006-07) after beginning his collegiate career at East Central (Miss.) Community College. The 6-foot-3-inch, 315-pound nose tackle played in 26 games for the Aggies, totaling 56 career tackles.
Tyler, 22, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on May 2, 2008. The 6-foot-6-inch, 310-pound defensive end played for four seasons at Portland State, where he played in 36 games with 32 starts and totaled 73 tackles for the Pirates.