Foxboro, Mass.-The New England Patriots announced that they have signed veteran punter Ken Walter today. Subsequently, the team released linebacker Rob Holmberg.
Walter, 29, spent four seasons with the Carolina Panthers (1997-2000) and played in all 64 games. The 6-foot-3-inch, 248-pound punter has 291 career punts and a 40.4-yard average (36.3-yard net average). Eighty-six of his punts have been downed inside the 20-yard line. He was signed by the Panthers as a rookie free agent in 1997 out of Kent State. That year, he punted 85 times with an average of 42.4 yards per punt and earned all-rookie honors from Pro Football Weekly, College and Pro Football Newsweekly and Football News.
Holmberg, 30, is an eight-year veteran who appeared in every game for the Patriots in 2000 and both games since joining the Patriots on Oct. 5, 2001. The 6-foot-3-inch, 240-pounder was originally drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the seventh round of the 1994 NFL draft (217th overall). He was released by the Raiders in 1998, but played for two of the Patriots division rivals that year with three appearances with the Colts and nine games with the Jets. He was released by the Jets in 1999, but signed and appeared in every game for the Minnesota Vikings. In eight seasons, he has appeared in 107 games with six starts. He has 48 career special teams tackles and 38 defensive stops, including a pair of sacks.