The New England Patriots announced the signing of veteran free agent offensive guard Joe Andruzzi today. The fourth-year offensive lineman was released from the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 27, 2000. Subsequently, the Patriots waived tight end Chris Fontenot.
Andruzzi, 25, was originally signed by the Packers as a rookie free agent out of Southern Connecticut State in 1997. He made the opening day roster as a rookie, but was listed inactive for every game that year, including Super Bowl XXXII. He was assigned to the Scottish Claymores in the spring of 1998 and earned All-NFL Europe honors after starting all 10 games for the Claymores. He returned to the Packers in 1998 and played in 15 games and made his NFL starting debut at left guard against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12/7/98). Last season, he played in eight games, including three starts, before suffering a season-ending injury at Dallas (11/14/99). He was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 23 and missed the rest of the season.
Fontenot, 26, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Aug. 28, 2000. He originally signed with the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent in 1998. He spent part of his rookie season on Kansas City's practice squad before being signed by the Philadelphia Eagles for the final five games of the regular season. He was waived by the Eagles during their 1999 preseason and was unsigned until the 2000 offseason when he signed with the Oakland Raiders. He was waived by the Raiders on Aug. 27 and claimed by the Patriots the next day.