FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed TE Garrett Mills today. Terms of the contract were not announced. In addition, the Patriots released S Bret Lockett and rookie free agent OL Zach Roth.
Mills, 6-1, 235 pounds, originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Tulsa and spent the majority of his rookie season with New England on the injured reserve list.
Mills is a veteran of five NFL seasons and has played with New England (2006), Minnesota (2007-09), Philadelphia (2010) and Cincinnati (2010).
After being listed as a game inactive for the first nine contests of his rookie season in 2006, Mills finished the year on the injured reserve list with hip and thigh injuries. He was waived by the Patriots at the end of training camp in 2007 and was claimed off waivers by Minnesota. After two seasons seeing limited action for the Vikings in 2007 and 2008, he split the 2009 season between the Minnesota active roster and practice squad but did not see any game action.
Garrett went to training camp with Minnesota in 2010 but was waived prior to the start of the regular season. He then was signed to the Philadelphia practice squad before being signed to the active 53-man roster. Garrett played in seven games with three starts last season with Philadelphia and registered two receptions for 19 yards. He was released by the Eagles on Dec. 21 and claimed off waivers by Cincinnati, where he finished the season. He was waived by Cincinnati on Aug. 16, 2011.
Garrett has played in 16 NFL games with three starts and has nine receptions for 110 yards.
Lockett, 6-1, 220 pounds, was claimed off waivers and awarded to the Patriots from the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 7, 2009. He originally joined Cleveland as a rookie free on May 4, 2009 out of UCLA. As a rookie with the Patriots in 2009, he played in 10 games and finished with two tackles on defense and five special teams tackles. He missed the 2010 season after being placed on injured reserve with a chest injury.
Roth, 6-6, 319 pounds, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent from Texas Christian University on August 13, 2011. Last season, Roth started 10 games at right tackle and helped anchor an offensive line that enabled TCU to set a single-season school record for touchdowns (73), points scored (541) and total offense (6,199 yards).