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Patriots sign QB Matt Gutierrez to practice squad

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots signed quarterback Matt Gutierrez and punter Tom Malone to their practice squad today. Additionally, the Patriots released defensive back Mark Dillard from their practice squad.

Gutierrez, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Idaho State on May 8, 2007. The 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pound quarterback played in five games for the Patriots as a rookie last season and completed one pass for 15 yards. He was released by the Patriots on Aug. 30, 2008.

Malone, 24, was previously a member of the Patriots practice squad late in the 2006 season and was with the team for its 2007 training camp. He was signed to the Patriots practice squad on December 20, 2006, and was signed to the active roster on January 23, 2007 before being released on Aug. 22, 2007. The 6-foot, 205-pound punter was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as a rookie free agent on May 5, 2006, and was released by the 49ers on June 29, 2006.

Dillard, 21, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Louisiana Tech on May 2, 2008. The 5-foot-11-inch, 210-pound safety was with the Patriots throughout their 2008 training camp and was released in the final preseason roster cutdown on Aug. 30, 2008. He was signed to the practice squad on Aug. 31, 2008.

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