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Patriots sign free agent RB Patrick Pass; Release four

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed veteran running back Patrick Pass today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Pass previously spent seven seasons with the Patriots from 2000-06. Additionally, New England released veteran defensive lineman Kenny Smith, first-year linebacker Angelo Craig, first-year running back Omar Cuff and rookie safety Marcus McClinton.

Patrick Pass, 31, played in 78 regular-season games with 11 starts for the Patriots from 2000-06 and played in 10 playoff games with one start during his tenure in New England. He also appeared in one game for the New York Giants in 2007. Pass has recorded 1,096 career yards from scrimmage - 128 rushes for 526 yards and 66 receptions for 570 yards - and has scored four career touchdowns (three rushing and one receiving). He has also returned 36 kickoffs for 745 yards (20.7 avg.) and has made 50 career special teams tackles. Pass appeared in each of the Patriots' three Super Bowl victories and started at fullback in New England's Super Bowl XXXIX victory over Philadelphia.

The 5-foot-10-inch, 217-pound running back was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round (239th overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft. As a rookie in 2000, Pass played in five games with two starts after beginning the season on the practice squad. In 2001, Pass played in every game, recorded 11 special teams tackles and scored his first career touchdown in the Patriots' Dec. 22 victory over Miami in the final regular-season game at Foxboro Stadium. Pass served as the Patriots' primary kickoff returner in all three 2001 playoff contests as New England claimed the Super Bowl XXXVI title. He appeared in 28 games with one start from 2002-03, and went on to set a career-high in 2004 with 28 receptions for 215 yards while starting four of 14 games. In 2005, Pass started four of 12 contests and had a career-best 54 rushes for 245 yards (4.5 avg.) and a career-high three rushing touchdowns. In 2006, Pass began the season on the physically unable to perform list and was activated on Nov. 25. He played in three games, recording six rushes for 21 yards and a pair of receptions for 24 yards, before being placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury on Dec. 13, 2006.

Pass became an unrestricted free agent following the 2006 season and signed with the Houston Texans on July 30, 2007. He was released by the Texans on Aug. 28, 2007 and signed with the New York Giants on Nov. 20. He appeared in the Giants' Nov. 25 game against Minnesota and recorded one special teams tackle before being released on Nov. 27. Pass spent the 2008 season out of football.

Kenny Smith, 31, is a veteran of six seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2001-04), Oakland Raiders (2005) and New England Patriots (2008). He was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on June 8, 2007, but was released on Aug. 22, 2007 and spent the remainder of the 2007 season out of football. He was re-signed by New England on April 23, 2008 and was placed on injured reserve on Aug. 30 with an arm injury, causing him to miss the 2008 season. The 6-foot-4-inch, 303-pound defensive lineman has played in 30 career games with 10 starts and has recorded 69 career tackles (56 solo), 4.5 sacks, two passes defensed and two fumble recoveries.

Angelo Craig, 23, was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft (244th overall) out of the University of Cincinnati. The 6-foot-5-inch, 242-pound linebacker was released by the Bengals in the final preseason roster cutdown on Aug. 31, 2008. He was signed to the Patriots' practice squad on Dec. 8, and spent the rest of the season on New England's practice squad.

Omar Cuff, 24, was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on May 4, 2009. The 5-foot-9-inch, 195-pound running back was originally signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent on May 2, 2008. He spent time with the practice squads of the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.
Marcus McClinton, 23, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 30, 2009. The 6-foot, 210-pound defensive back played in 45 games with 36 starts at free safety for the University of Kentucky from 2004-08.

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