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Patriots re-sign OL Russ Hochstein

The New England Patriots announced the re-signing of offensive guard Russ Hochstein on the eve of NFL free agency.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced the re-signing of offensive guard Russ Hochstein on the eve of NFL free agency.

Hochstein, 26, started three games for the Patriots in 2003, including the AFC Championship game and Super Bowl XXXVIII. The 6-foot-4-inch, 305-pound offensive lineman entered the 2003 season on the team's practice squad, but was activated on Sept. 14 and appeared in 14 of the next 15 games.

He made his NFL starting debut at left guard in Washington on Sept. 28. The line surrendered just one sack in the game.

He was called to action again during the playoffs, replacing an injured Damien Woody at left guard during the divisional playoff game against Tennessee. He started the next two games and helped the Patriots to a 24-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts (1/18/04) and a 32-29 victory over the Carolina Panthers (2/1/04) on a line that did not allow a sack in the playoffs.

Hochstein was originally drafted in the fifth round of the 2001 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent his rookie season on the Buccaneers' roster, but was inactive for all 16 games. He was waived in September of 2002 and signed onto the Patriots practice squad on Oct. 21, 2002. He was signed to the active roster on Nov. 17 and appeared in his first game as a Patriot in a 24-17 victory over Minnesota on Nov. 24.

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