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Patriots sign veteran wide receiver Chris Calloway; release eight others, including veteran wide rec

FOXBORO, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced the signing of veteran free agent wide receiver Chris Calloway and also released eight players, including veteran wide receiver Vincent Brisby. They also released wide receivers Aaron Bailey, Matt Bumgardner and Tony Gaiter, safeties Cory Gilliard and Rodney Rideau, cornerback Mike Woods and tight end Dave Stachelski. Following today's transactions the Patriots have 73 players on their active roster.

Calloway, 32, has recorded 381 catches for 5,402 yards (14.2 avg.) and 30 touchdowns during his 11-year NFL career. In 1999, he played in 11 games, including nine starts for the Atlanta Falcons and caught 22 passes for 314 yards for one touchdown. He was released by the Falcons on May 23, 2000. He spent seven seasons with the New York Giants (1992-98) and ranks third on their all-time receiving list with 334 receptions, behind Joe Morrison (395) and Frank Gifford (367). Calloway established a New York Giants record by recording a pass reception in 47 straight games. He led the Giants in receiving for four straight seasons (1995-98) and became the first Giants player to do so since Gifford led the team in receiving for five consecutive seasons (1955-59). Calloway established single-season career-highs with 58 catches for 849 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in 1997. He eclipsed his single-season reception high with 62 catches in 1998. Calloway was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth round of the 1990 draft (97th overall). He spent two seasons with the Steelers, playing in 28 games, including two starts, and caught 25 passes for 378 yards and two touchdowns.

Brisby, 29, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the second round (58th overall) of the 1993 NFL draft. The 6-foot-3-inch, 200-pound wide receiver had four catches for 64 yards this preseason. He totaled 217 catches for 3,142 yards and 14 touchdowns during his eight-year career with the Patriots.

Bailey, 28, was signed by the Patriots on March 9, 2000. The 5-foot-10-inch, 190-pound wide receiver/kickoff returner did not record a catch during this preseason.
Bumgardner, 23, was signed as a rookie free agent by the Patriots on April 19. The 6-foot-1-inch, 195-pound wide receiver had caught two passes for 17 yards, including one touchdown during this preseason.

Gaiter, 26, was signed by the Patriots on March 31, 2000. The 5-foot-8-inch, 175-pound wide receiver/kick returner had totaled four catches for 52 yards. He also added four punt returns for 36 yards (9.0 avg.) and three kickoff returns for 68 yards (22.7 avg.).

Gilliard, 25, signed with the Patriots on Feb. 11, 1999, but spent the 1999 season on injured reserve. The 6-foot, 215-pound safety had totaled four tackles during the 2000 preseason.

Stachelski, 23, was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round (141st overall) of the 2000 NFL draft. The 6-foot-3-inch, 245-pound tight end did not record any catches this preseason.

Rideau, 22, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 25, 2000. The 5-inch-10-foot, 200-pound safety recorded two tackles during the 2000 preseason.
Woods, 23, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 25, 2000. The 5-foot-9-inch, 190-pound safety, did not record any tackles this preseason.

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