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Patriots re-sign RB Thomas Clayton; Release G Darnell Stapleton

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots re-signed RB Thomas Clayton and released G Darnell Stapleton.

Clayton, a 5-11, 222 pound running back from Kansas State, was signed by the Patriots on June 11, 2010 and released on August 6. He originally was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft. After spending all of 2007 on the San Francisco practice squad, Clayton spent the first 14 weeks of 2008 as part of that unit until being signed to the active roster for the final two games of the season. He spent the 2009 season on injured reserve after getting injured during the preseason.

Stapleton, 6-3, 305 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on August 9. A veteran of three NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Stapleton originally joined Pittsburgh as a rookie free agent in 2007 out of Rutgers. He made the 53-man roster as a rookie in 2007 but was inactive for all 16 games. Stapleton played in all 16 regular-season games in 2008 and made 12 starts at right guard. Stapleton was injured in the preseason last year and spent the season on injured reserve.

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