FOXBORO, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced that they have re-signed first-year free agent defensive tackle Jace Sayler. The team also announced the release of three players, wide receivers Curtis Jackson, Charles Johnson and cornerback Terrance Shaw.
Sayler, 23, originally signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 27, 2001. The Michigan State product started at nose tackle for the Patriots in his NFL debut in the 2001 regular season opener at Cincinnati on Sept. 9. The 6-foot-5-inch, 295-pound defensive tackle played in a reserve role against the New York Jets (9/23/01) and was placed on injured reserve on October 5 with a knee injury.
Jackson, 28, originally signed with the Patriots on Nov. 15, 2000 off the St. Louis Rams practice squad. The 5-foot-10-inch, 194-pound wide receiver played in two games for the Patriots in 2001 and caught two passes for 16 yards. He also returned a pair of kickoffs for 30 yards. He was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 7, 2001 with an ankle injury.
Johnson, 30, originally signed with the Patriots as a veteran free agent on May 31, 2001 and played in 14 regular season games, as well as three playoff games. In his eighth year, the 6-foot, 205-pound veteran was credited with 14 receptions for 111 yards and one touchdown during the regular season. He also had two receptions for 22 yards in the playoffs. Prior to joining the Patriots, Johnson played five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1994-98) and two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2000).
Shaw, 28, started three of 13 games played in 2001 and appeared in each of the team's three postseason games. The seventh-year veteran finished the year with 22 defensive tackles and four passes defensed during the regular season. He added a tackle and batted down three more passes during the playoffs. The 5-foot-11-inch, 200-pound cornerback originally signed with the Patriots on March 22, 2001 following his release from the Miami Dolphins