FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed free agents CB Chimdi Chekwa (CHIM-dee CHECK-wah), LB Jonathan Freeny and unrestricted free agent DL Jabaal Sheard (juh-BALL SHEERD). Terms of the contracts were not announced.
Chekwa, 26, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Oakland Raiders after joining the team as a fourth-round draft pick (113th overall) in 2011 out of Ohio State. The 6-foot, 190-pounder, was a key contributor on special teams, playing in 32 games with four starts and registering 32 tackles and 15 special teams tackles. After being limited to four games as a rookie in 2011, he began the 2012 season on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster in December for the final three games. Last season, Chekwa, played in 10 games with two starts and tallied five tackles and a team-leading nine special teams tackles.
Freeny, 25, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Miami Dolphins after originally joining the team as a rookie free agent in 2011 out of Rutgers and spending that season on the practice squad. The 6-foot-2, 254-pounder, has played in 44 NFL games and has 15 tackles on defense and 22 special teams tackles. Last season, he played 12 games with the Dolphins as a reserve linebacker and on special teams and finished with 15 tackles on defense and 10 special teams tackles.
Sheard, 25, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the Cleveland Browns after joining the team as a second-round draft pick (37th overall) in 2011 out of Pittsburgh. The 6-foot-3, 264-pounder, has played in 61 games with 50 starts and has registered 190 total tackles, 23 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team in 2011 when he had 55 tackles, a team-leading 8½ sacks and five forced fumbles.