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Patriots Sign Six Players; Release DE Adrian Clayborn

Tight End Matt LaCosse, DL Mike Pennel, and DE John Simon.
Tight End Matt LaCosse, DL Mike Pennel, and DE John Simon.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have signed DB Terrence Brooks as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Jets, WR Bruce Ellington as a free agent, WR Maurice Harris as a free agent, TE Matt LaCosse as a free agent, DL Mike Pennel (pronounced – puh-NELL) as an unrestricted free agent from the New York Jets and DE John Simon as an unrestricted free agent. Terms of the contracts were not announced. The Patriots also announced the release of DE Adrian Clayborn.

Brooks, 27, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with Baltimore (2014-15), Philadelphia (2016) and N.Y. Jets (2017-18). The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (79th overall) by the Ravens in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Florida State. After being released by Baltimore in September of 2016, he was claimed off waivers by Philadelphia where he played in 2016. Brooks was traded by Philadelphia to the N.Y. Jets in exchange for CB Dexter McDougle on Aug. 27, 2017. He has appeared in 65 games with one start and totaled 37 tackles, three interceptions, eight passes defensed, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Last season with the Jets, Brooks appeared in all 16 games as a reserve and had four tackles and one pass defensed.

Ellington, 27, originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick (106th overall) with the San Francisco 49ers in the 2014 NFL Draft out of South Carolina. The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder is a veteran of five NFL seasons with San Francisco (2014-16), Houston (2017-18) and Detroit (2018). After three seasons in San Francisco, Ellington was released in August of 2017 and acquired off waivers by the New York Jets. He was released by the Jets three days later and was signed by Houston on August 11, 2017. 

Ellington has appeared in 44 games with nine starts and totaled 79 receptions for 769 yards and five touchdowns and compiled 11 rushing attempts for 54 yards and one touchdown. He has also returned 48 punts for 372 yards and 50 kickoffs for 1,279 yards.

Last season, Ellington began the year with the Texans and played three games with one start and posted eight receptions for 92 yards and one touchdown before being released in October. He signed with the Lions in November and appeared in four games with two starts and caught 23 passes for 132 yards, had one rushing attempt for two yards and one punt return for zero yards. 

Harris, 26, is a veteran of three NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins (2016-18). The 6-foot-3, 200-pounder originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Washington out of California on May 4, 2016. He began his first two seasons on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster and was on the 53-man roster for the entire 2018 campaign. Harris has played in 28 NFL games with seven starts and 40 receptions for 432 yards and one touchdown and six kickoff returns for 118 yards. Last season, he played in 12 games with seven starts for Washington and caught 28 passes for 304 yards.

LaCosse, 26, has spent time with the New York Giants and the Denver Broncos after originally entering the NFL with the Giants as a rookie free agent out of Illinois on May 7, 2015. The 6-foot-6, 255-pounder  spent time on the Giants 53-man roster and practice squad in 2015 and 2017 and the entire 2016 season on injured reserve. LaCosse was signed off the Giants practice squad by Denver on Dec. 12, 2017. He has played in 22 NFL games with six starts and has 27 receptions for 272 yards and one touchdown. 

Last season with Denver, he played in 15 games with five starts and finished with 24 receptions for 250 yards and one touchdown.

Pennel, 27, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with Green Bay (2014-16) and the N.Y. Jets (2017-18). The 6-foot-4, 332-pounder originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Green Bay out of Colorado State-Pueblo on May 12, 2014. He was released by Green Bay on Jan. 9, 2017, and acquired off waivers by the N.Y. Jets, where he has spent the last two seasons. Pennel has played in 69 games with 15 starts and has accumulated 102 total tackles, one sack and one forced fumble. He has also played in four postseason games and made three tackles. 

Last season with the Jets, Pennel played in all 16 games with seven starts and finished with 27 total tackles and one pass defensed.

Simon, 28, is a veteran of six NFL seasons with Baltimore (2013), Houston (2014-16), Indianapolis (2017) and New England (2018). The 6-foot-2, 260-pounder, was signed by New England on Sept. 26, 2018, after being released by Indianapolis prior to the start of the season. Simon originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick (129th overall) by Baltimore out of Ohio State in the 2013 NFL Draft. He began his second NFL season on the Baltimore practice squad before being signed to the Houston 53-man roster. He joined Indianapolis as an unrestricted free agent in 2017. Simon has played in 65 NFL games with 24 starts and has 168 total tackles, 15 sacks, one interception that he returned 26 yards for a touchdown, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He has also played in four postseason games with one start and with 12 total tackles a half a sack and one pass defensed. 

Last season with New England, Simon played in 11 games with two starts and finished with 18 total tackles and two sacks. He also played in all three postseason games with one start and had four tackles a half a sack and one pass defensed. 

Clayborn, 30, signed with the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent from Atlanta on March 17, 2018. The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder is a veteran of eight seasons with Tampa Bay (2011-14), Atlanta (2015-17) and New England. Clayborn has appeared in 95 career regular-season games with 50 starts and compiled 178 tackles, 32½ sacks, one pass defensed, eight forced fumbles, four forced fumbles – one of which he returned for a touchdown. He has also played in six postseason contests with two starts and made four tackles.

Last season with the Patriots, Clayborn played in 14 regular-season games with one start and posted 11 tackles, 2½ sacks and one forced fumble. Clayborn played as a reserve in all three playoff games and made two tackles.

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