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Patriots sign DB James Patrick and P Tom Malone to practice squad

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed first-year defensive back James Patrick and rookie punter Tom Malone to their practice squad today.

Patrick, 24, begins his second stint with the Patriots practice squad this season. He was previously signed to the practice squad on Nov. 1 and was released on Dec. 12. He was originally signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a rookie free agent on May 2, 2005. The 5-foot-11-inch, 185-pound defensive back spent the entire 2005 season on Tampa Bay's practice squad. Patrick was released by the Buccaneers on Sept. 2, 2006. He attended Stillman College, where he set a school record with 27 interceptions.

Malone, 22, was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie free agent on May 5, 2006, and was released on June 29. The 6-foot, 205-pound punter played for the University of Southern California from 2002-05, where he recorded a 44.0-yard career punting average and placed 95 of his 185 career punts inside the 20-yard line. Malone was a two-time semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award - given to the nation's top punter - and set a school record in 2003 by averaging 49.0 yards per punt.

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