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Patriots sign four players to future contracts

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots have signed guard Dan Connolly, wide receiver C.J. Jones, offensive lineman Jimmy Martin and cornerback Tim Mixon to future contracts. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. Connolly, Jones and Mixon all ended the season as members of the Patriots practice squad.

Connolly, 25, played in four NFL games with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being signed by Jacksonville as an undrafted free agent on April 24, 2005. The 6-foot-4-inch, 313-pound offensive lineman played in four games for the Jaguars as a rookie in 2005 and missed the entire 2006 season on injured reserve. The St. Louis native attended Southeast Missouri State. He was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Sept. 12 and remained part of the squad for the remainder of the 2007 season.

Jones, 27, was a member of the Patriots practice squad for the entire 2007 season. He was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent from the Univeristy of Iowa on May 2, 2003. The 5-foot-11-inch, 195-pound wide receiver was listed as a day-of-game inactive by the Browns for 11 games during the 2003 season and also spent five weeks on Cleveland's practice squad that year. In 2004, Jones spent the entire season on the Browns' practice squad. Jones was released by the Browns on Sept. 3, 2005 and spent the remainder of the season out of football. He was signed by the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5, 2006, and was released by Seattle following its 2006 training camp. Jones was signed by the Patriots on June 7, 2007 and was released on Sept. 1 before joining New England's practice squad on Sept. 3.

Martin, 25, was originally drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft (226th overall) out of Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-5-inch, 306-pound offensive lineman was released by San Diego on Aug. 28, 2006 and spent three two-week stints on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad during the 2006 season. He was released by Minnesota on Sept. 2, 2007 and spent the 2007 season out of football.

Mixon, 23, was signed to the Patriots practice squad on Oct. 9, 2007 and spent the remainder of the season as part of the squad. He was originally signed by the Chicago Bears on May 7, 2007 as an undrafted rookie free agent from the University of California. The 5-foot-9-inch, 184-pound cornerback was released by the Bears on Sept. 1. He was signed to the Cleveland Browns practice squad on Sept. 4 and was released from the Browns practice squad on Sept. 14.

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