FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have signed DL Joe Vellano to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. In addition, the Patriots released TE Steve Maneri.
Vellano, 26, originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Maryland in 2013. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder has played in 21 games with eight starts for the Patriots and registered 54 total tackles and three sacks. He played in the first five games in 2014 and had six total tackles and one sack before he was released on Oct. 7 and signed to the practice squad on Oct. 8.
Maneri, 26, was signed to the Patriots on Dec. 17, 2014 and saw his only action in the season-finale against Buffalo on Dec. 28. He spent the 2010 season on the New England practice squad, went to training camp with the Patriots in 2011 and was in camp with the team again this past summer. Maneri was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 10, 2014, and released on Aug. 30. The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder, has also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs (2011-12) and the Chicago Bears (2013). Maneri spent part of the 2014 offseason with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was originally signed as a rookie free agent by the Houston Texans out of Temple in 2010 but was released and claimed off waivers by the Patriots prior to the start of the regular season. He has played in 24 NFL games with 10 starts and has registered six receptions for 52 yards. A tight end in college, Houston signed Maneri and converted him to an offensive lineman. He began his career with the Patriots as an offensive lineman as well. Last season, Maneri played in four games with one start for Chicago before being released by the Bears on Oct. 21, 2013.