FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed unrestricted free agent C Chris Morris, restricted free agent RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, veteran free agent OL Jonathan Compas and rookie free agent RB Richard Medlin. Terms of the contracts were not announced.
In addition, the Patriots released veteran RB Thomas Clayton and rookie free agent OL Mike Berry from Auburn
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
Morris, 6-4, 305 pounds, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders (2006-09) and Carolina Panthers (2010). Morris was originally a seventh round draft pick (214th overall) by Oakland in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Michigan State. He was released by Oakland on Sept. 4, 2010 and signed by Carolina as a free agent on Sept. 29, 2010.
Morris, 27, has played in 51 NFL games with 11 starting assignments. He has logged significant playing time at both guard and center and has also handled long snapping duties. Morris' most productive season was in 2009 when he started 10 games for the Raiders, four at center and six at left guard. Last season with Carolina, Morris played in four games as a reserve.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
Green-Ellis, 5-11, 215 pounds, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Patriots. He originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi in 2008. After a spending the beginning of his rookie campaign on the practice squad, Green-Ellis joined the 53-man roster and saw action in nine games. Last season, he started in 11 of 16 games and finished with 1,008 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He became the 11th New England player to record a 1,000-yard rushing season. His 13 rushing touchdowns are tied for the third highest rushing touchdown total by a Patriots player.
VETERAN FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
Compas, 6-3, 300 pounds, originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Oakland Raiders from UC-Davis. He was waived by Oakland and acquired off waivers by Tampa Bay on Sept. 1, 2009. Compas played in two games for Tampa Bay as a rookie. He was released by Tampa Bay on Sept. 24, 2010 and spent the rest of the season out of football.
ROOKIE FREE AGENT SIGNINGS
Medlin, 5-11, 200 pounds, was signed as a rookie free agent from Fayetteville. The 24-year old, played in 10 games as a senior in 2010 and gained 772 yards with five touchdowns. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry and 77.2 yards per game.
Clayton, 5-11, 220 pounds, originally signed with New England on June 11, 2010 and was released on Sept. 4. After his release from the Patriots, Clayton was signed to the Cleveland Browns' practice squad on Sept. 14. He was signed to the New England 53-man roster from the Cleveland practice squad on Sept. 30. He was inactive for two games while on the New England active roster. Clayton was released by the Patriots on Oct. 23 and acquired via waivers by Cleveland on Oct. 26. He played in two games for the Browns before being released on Dec. 1. Clayton was claimed by the Patriots on Dec. 2 and the season-final vs. Miami (1/2/11).
Clayton spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons on the San Francisco practice squad and 2009 on injured reserve with the 49ers after originally joining the team as a sixth round draft choice out of Kansas State in 2007. He was inactive during his two games on the New England 53-man roster.
Berry, 6-3, 316 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on July 27, 2010. He started all 14 games in 2010 at right guard and was part of an offensive line that paved the way for 254 yards rushing and 519 yards of total offense in the national championship win over Oregon.