FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots signed rookie offensive lineman Lav Bauta today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Additionally, Patriots guard/center Gene Mruczkowski has retired.
Bauta, 24, was previously signed by the Patriots on July 22 and released on July 24. 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.
Mruczkowski, 28, played in 18 games for the Patriots from 2003-06 before playing in a career-high 15 games last season with the Miami Dolphins. The 6-foot-2-inch, 305-pound offensive lineman was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Purdue on May 16, 2003. Mruczkowski missed his rookie season due to injury and returned to play in 10 regular-season games and three playoff games for the Patriots in 2004. Mruczkowski played in seven regular-season games and one playoff contest in 2005. He played in one game for the Patriots in 2006 during four stints on the active roster. He was with the Patriots for their 2007 training camp, but was released in the final preseason roster cut down on Sept. 1, 2007. Mruczkowski was signed by the Dolphins the following day and went on to play in all but one game as a reserve offensive lineman for Miami in 2007. The Cleveland native was re-signed by the Patriots on June 6, 2008. Mruczkowski played in a total of 33 games in five NFL seasons.