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Patriots sign LB Jerod Mayo; Release OL Lavdrim Bauta

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots signed first-round draft selection Jerod Mayo today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The Patriots selected Mayo with the 10th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. Additionally, the Patriots released rookie offensive lineman Lavdrim Bauta.

Mayo, 22, played in 32 games with 26 starts for the University of Tennessee over three seasons from 2005-07. In his collegiate career, the 6-foot-1-inch, 242-pound linebacker recorded 236 tackles (137 solo), 6.5 sacks for 51 yards, one interception for 34 yards and a touchdown, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. The Hampton, Va., native started all 14 games at middle linebacker as a junior in 2007, serving as a co-captain and recording 140 total tackles -- the highest total for a Tennessee player since 1990. In a game against Kentucky, Mayo made 19 tackles, the highest single-game total for a Volunteers player since 1988. As a sophomore in 2006, Mayo started 11 of 12 games at outside linebacker, finishing third on the team with 83 tackles while totaling a career-high five sacks. In 2005, he played in six games with one start at outside linebacker as a redshirt freshman.

Bauta, 24, was signed by the Patriots on July 22. He was a three-year letterman for Duke before transferring to Villanova for his final collegiate season in 2006. As a senior with Villanova in 2006, Bauta started 10 games at right tackle. In 2005, Bauta started all 11 games at tackle for Duke while also being named to the ACC All-Academic Team.

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