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Patriots Release 20 Players; McGowan to IR

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots released 20 players today and placed S Brandon McGowan on injured reserve with a chest injury.

Released today were WR Sam Aiken, LB Eric Alexander, S Sergio Brown, LB Derrick Burgess, OL George Bussey, TE Carson Butler, RB Thomas Clayton, WR Buddy Farnham, WR Darnell Jenkins, OL Ted Larsen, TE Rob Myers, OL Rich Ohrnberger, WR Rod Owens, QB Zac Robinson, RB Chris Taylor, DB Ross Ventrone, OL Thomas Welch, LB Thomas Williams, CB DeAngelo Willingham, LB Pierre Woods.

McGowan, 5-11, 210 pounds, joined the Patriots in 2009 as a veteran of four NFL season with the Chicago Bears (2005-08). He started in 11 of 16 games for New England in 2009, finishing with 66 total tackles, 10 passes defesned, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

Aiken, 6-2, 220 pounds, is a veteran of seven NFL seasons, including the last two with the Patriots. He originally joined the NFL as a third round draft pick by Buffalo in 2003 out of North Carolina. Aiken has played in 92 NFL games with 11 starts and has accumulated 82 special teams tackles.

Alexander, 6-2, 240 pounds, is a veteran of six NFL seasons. He originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Louisiana State on April 29, 2004. He played in 45 regular season games and seven playoff games for New England, primarily as a special team's contributor.

Brown, 6-2, 210 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Notre Dame on April 29, 1010.

Burgess, 6-2, 255 pounds, is a veteran of nine NFL seasons with Philadelphia (2001-04), Oakland (2005-08) and New England (2009). He was acquired by the Patriots from Oakland on August 9, 2009. Burgess originally joined the NFL as a third round draft pick by Philadelphia in 2001 out of Mississippi.

Bussey, 6-3, 305 pounds, was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Louisville. He spent the 2009 season on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Butler, 6-4, 260 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 2, 2010. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as a rookie free agent out of Michigan in 2009. He spent parts of the 2009 season on the practice squads of San Francisco and Cincinnati.

Clayton, 5-11, 222 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on June 11, 2010 and released on Aug. 6 before being re-signed on Aug. 11. He originally was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the sixth round of the 2007 Draft out of Kansas State. 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.

Farnham, 6-0, 185 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Brown on May 3, 2010 and was released on Aug. 9 before being re-signed on Aug. 15.

Jenkins, 5-10, 191 pounds, joined the New England practice squad on Dec. 9, 2009. He originally joined the NFL as a rookie free agent with Houston in 2008 out of Miami. After spending the 2008 season on the Texans practice squad, he spent time on the practice squads of Cleveland, Tampa Bay and New England in 2009.

Larsen, 6-2, 305 pounds, was selected by the Patriots in the sixth round (205th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of North Carolina State.

Myers, 6-4, 240 pounds, spent part of last season on the Patriots' practice squad. He originally signed with the New York Jets as a rookie free agent out of Utah State in April of 2009. He was waived by the Jets prior to the start of training camp and then signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in August of 2009. Myers spent two weeks on the Philadelphia practice squad.

Ohrnberger, 6-2, 300 pounds, was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Penn State. As a rookie last season, he played in three games and was inactive for 13 games and the postseason game vs. Baltimore (1/10).

Owens, 6-0, 183 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 2, 1010. He was signed by the St. Louis Rams as a rookie free agent in April of 2010 out of Florida State. He was released by the Rams in May.

Robinson, 6-3, 218 pounds, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round (250th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma State.

Taylor, 6-0, 224 pounds, was re-signed by the Patriots on May 10, 2010. He was originally signed by New England on Aug. 17, 2009 but spent the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Taylor entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Houston Texans out of Indiana in 2006. He has seen action in seven NFL games and has accumulated 160 rushing yards with one touchdown and caught three passes for 40 yards.

Ventrone, 5-8, 190 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Villanova on April 29, 2010 and waived on Aug. 15 before being re-signed on Aug. 23.

Welch, 6-7, 310 pounds, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round (208th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Vanderbilt.

Williams, 6-1, 240 pounds, joined the New England practice squad on Nov. 10, 2009 and was signed from the practice squad to the 53-man roster prior to the postseason game vs. Baltimore on Jan. 6, 2010. He was originally a fifth-round draft pick by Jacksonville out of USC in 2008. He appeared in six games for the Jaguars as a rookie. Williams was waived by Jacksonville prior to the start of the 2009 regular season and spent time on the Seattle practice squad season before being signed to New England.

Willingham, 6-0, 200 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 9, 2010. He spent two weeks on the Patriots' practice squad in 2009. Willingham was originally signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie free agent of Tennessee on April 30, 2009. After being waived by Tampa Bay, Willingham was claimed by the Dallas Cowboys at the end of August. Willingham was waived by Dallas on the final cuts before signing with the New England practice squad. He also spent part of the 2009 season on the Seattle practice squad and part of the 2010 offseason with Cincinnati.

Woods, 6-5, 255 pounds, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with New England after joining the team as a rookie free agent out of Michigan in 2006. In 52 NFL games, he has registered 62 special teams tackles.

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