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Patriots release WR J.J. Stokes

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots released veteran wide receiver J.J. Stokes today. The team's roster now stands at 79 players, including those carrying NFL Europe roster exemptions.

Stokes, 31, was originally signed by the Patriots on Nov. 18, 2003 and was re-signed by New England as an unrestricted free agent on March 3, 2004. Last season, he appeared in two games for the Patriots and caught two passes for 38 yards. He was released on Dec. 9, but was re-signed by the team on Jan. 17, 2004, and was inactive for the AFC Championship Game and for Super Bowl XXXVIII. In his nine-year career, Stokes has started in 69 of 119 games and has caught 342 passes for 4,293 yards and 30 touchdowns.

The 6-foot-4-inch, 225-pound UCLA product was originally drafted by the San Francisco 49ers with the 10th overall selection in the 1995 NFL draft. The San Diego native played eight seasons with the 49ers, starting 66 of 111 games and recorded 327 receptions for 4,139 yards and 30 touchdowns. He started every game for the 49ers in 2001 and finished second on the team with 54 receptions, including seven touchdowns. He signed with Jacksonville as a free agent on June 17, 2003 and opened the 2003 season with the Jaguars, starting three of six games with 13 receptions for 116 yards before being released by Jacksonville on Nov. 12, 2003.

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