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Patriots sign punter

The Patriots signed punter Brad Costello Tuesday, making him the fifth player to sign with the team since the end of the regular season.

Costello, 26, was signed to New England's practice squad on Dec. 20 and spent the final week of the season with the team. Costello originally signed with Cincinnati as free agent on April 23, 1998. The Bengals released him following training camp, but they re-signed him to their practice squad on Nov. 11.

Costello was signed to Cincinnati's active roster on Dec. 7 and played in the final three games of the season. He averaged 49.5 yards 10 punts. In 1999, he played in five games and averaged 33.8 yards per punt on 22 punts.

The Bengals released Costello on Aug. 22, 2000. Costello is the last Boston University graduate remaining in the NFL. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound punter led the Atlantic 10 in punting in 1996 and 1997 and finished his collegiate career as the Terriors all-time leader with a 42.3-yard average.

The other four players New England has signed since the season ended are guards Adam Davis and Rob Gatrell, linebacker Maugaula Tuitele and wide receiver Sean Morey.

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