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Patriots sign LB Eric Martin to 53-man roster; Release DB Dewey McDonald

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed LB Eric Martin to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. The Patriots also released DB Dewey McDonald. In addition, the Patriots signed DL Robert Thomas to the practice squad.

Martin, 24, made the 53-man roster out of training camp and played in the opening game vs. Pittsburgh on Sept. 10, before being released on Sept. 12 and being signed to the practice squad on Sept. 16. He was originally signed to the Patriots practice squad on Dec. 29, 2014. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder, entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with New Orleans out of Nebraska on April 28, 2013. He was released by New Orleans on Aug. 27, 2013, and was claimed off waivers by Cleveland on Aug. 28, 2013. Over two seasons in Cleveland (2013-14), Martin played in 29 games with one start and registered 14 total tackles. 

McDonald, 25, was claimed off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 28. The 6-foot, 220-pounder, was inactive for the game against Miami on Oct. 29 and saw action last Sunday in his Patriots debut in the win against Washington. McDonald originally joined Indianapolis as a rookie free agent on May 12, 2014 out of California (Pa.). The 6-foot, 220-pounder, began his rookie season on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Sept. 29, 2014. He played in 12 games mostly on special teams and finished second on the team with 13 special teams tackles. McDonald played in all three postseason games, including the AFC Championship Game against New England. He began the 2015 campaign on the practice squad but was signed to the 53-man roster and saw action vs. New Orleans on Oct. 25 before being released on Oct. 27.

Thomas, 24, is a first-year player who originally joined the Washington Redskins as a rookie free agent out of Arkansas on May 14, 2014. The 6-foot-1, 336-pounder, spent the majority of his rookie season on the Washington practice squad. He was signed to the 53-man roster for one game in late September, but was inactive for that game before being released and re-signed to the practice squad. Thomas was released by Washington at the end of training camp this past summer and spent the beginning of the year on the Seattle practice squad before being released on Nov. 10. 

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