FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have signed TE Asante Cleveland and LB Darius Fleming to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. In addition, the Patriots released DB Dewey McDonald.
Cleveland, 23, was acquired by the Patriots in trade with San Francisco on Aug. 18 in exchange for OL Jordan Devey. Cleveland was released by the Patriots on Sept. 5, and was signed to the New England practice squad on Sept. 7. He was originally signed by San Francisco as a rookie free agent out of Miami (Fla.) on May 12, 2014. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder, spent the first two weeks of the 2014 regular season on the team's practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Sept. 20 and making his NFL debut at Arizona on Sept. 21. He spent the next eight weeks on the team's practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Nov. 27. Cleveland played in the team's final five regular-season games, but did not record any catches. During his four-year collegiate career at Miami (Fla.), he appeared in 40 games with 10 starts, totaling 14 receptions for 151 yards and one touchdown.
Fleming, 26, was originally signed by New England as a free agent on May 16, 2014. The 6-foot-2, 255-pounder, was drafted by San Francisco in the fifth round (165th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Notre Dame. He spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons on injured reserve with a knee injury and was released by the 49ers on May 12, 2014. Fleming made the New England 53-man roster out of training camp last season but was inactive for the season-opener at Miami (9/7). He was released on Sept. 13 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 16 before re-joining the 53-man roster on Nov. 29. Fleming played in five games and three postseason games for the Patriots last season. He was released by the Patriots on Sept. 5, 2015, and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 7, 2015.
McDonald, 25, joined New England when he was claimed off waivers from the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 28. The 6-foot, 220-pounder, played in two games for the Patriots before being released on Nov. 12, and signed to the practice squad on Nov. 14. He was released from the practice squad on Nov. 18 and then re-signed to the 53-man roster on Nov. 26. McDonald originally joined Indianapolis as a rookie free agent on May 12, 2014 out of California (Pa.). The 6-foot, 220-pounder, began his rookie season on the practice squad before being signed to the 53-man roster on Sept. 29, 2014. He played in 12 games mostly on special teams and finished second on the team with 13 special teams tackles. McDonald played in all three postseason games, including the AFC Championship Game against New England. He began the 2015 campaign on the Indianapolis practice squad but was signed to the 53-man roster and saw action vs. New Orleans on Oct. 25 before being released by the Colts on Oct. 27.