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Patriots sign Ashworth, Givens; Add free agent Johnson

Patriots.com has learned that the New England Patriots have signed offensive tackle Tom Ashworth and wide receiver David Givens to one-year exclusive rights tender offers. The team also announced it has signed veteran free agent defensive end Dwight Johnson. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Ashworth, 26, played in all 16 games last season and started the final 13 games at right tackle. The 6-foot-6, 305 pound Ashworth, who also started all three postseason games for the Patriots, enters training camp as the projected starter.

Givens, 23, was a seventh-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2002. He started five of his 13 games last season, finishing with 34 receptions for 510 yards and a team-leading six touchdown receptions. Givens was also a significant contributor in the playoffs, finishing with 143 yards, two touchdowns and tying for the team-lead with 17 receptions while starting two of three games.

According to published reports, both Ashworth and Givens will play for the third-year minimum of $380,000, and will be restricted free agents following the season unless they agree to extensions.

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