FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots re-signed free agent defensive back Antwan Harris today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The team subsequently announced that linebacker Eric Alexander has been placed on the reserve / injured list with an ankle injury. Additionally, the team signed long snapper Mike Solwold to the practice squad and released running back Kory Chapman from the practice squad. Following today's transactions, the Patriots' active roster is at the NFL's 53-man limit and the practice squad is at the 8-man limit in advance of this Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game against Indianapolis.
Harris, 27, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft and spent four seasons with New England from 2000-03. Over that span, he played in 52 regular-season games with two starts, recording 29 tackles (23 solo), one sack, one interception and 22 special teams tackles. The 5-foot-9-inch, 194-pound defensive back made an impact in the 2001 playoffs, being part of two big plays as the Patriots claimed their first world championship in Super Bowl XXXVI. In the 2001 AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, Harris grabbed a lateral from Troy Brown and ran 49 yards for a touchdown following a blocked field goal. The University of Virginia product also played a role in the Patriots' 20-17 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI, creating a turnover late in the first half that led to a New England touchdown. Harris used his helmet to dislodge the football from Rams receiver Ricky Proehl, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Patriots. In 2003, Harris played in 13 games for New England with one start and was listed among the day-of-game inactives for each of the Patriots' three playoff contests. He became a free agent following the 2003 season. Harris will wear number 45.
Alexander, 22, was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent on April 29, 2004. The 6-foot-2-inch, 240-pound linebacker was signed to New England's practice squad following 2004 training camp and remained there until he was signed to the active roster on Dec. 20, 2004. The Louisiana State product participated on special teams in the final three games of the regular season, recording two special teams tackles (1 solo).
Solwold, 27, has played in a total of 12 NFL games spanning four seasons with Dallas (2001), Tampa Bay (2002) and Baltimore (2003-04). The 6-foot-6-inch, 244-pound long snapper was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Minnesota Vikings on April 25, 2001. The Wisconsin product was on the Baltimore Ravens' roster for one game in the 2004 regular season, handling long snapping duties in Baltimore's Dec. 12 game against the New York Giants.
Chapman, 24, was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent on May 17, 2004. The 6-foot-1-inch, 202-pound Jacksonville State product was signed by the Patriots on Sept. 3, 2004 and joined New England's practice squad on Sept. 5. The Batesville, Miss. native spent 2004 training camp with Baltimore, and was released by the Ravens on Aug. 30.