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Pats sign PK Sam and Christian Morton; Release two others

The New England Patriots announced the signing of two additional draft choices today, wide receiver P.K. Sam and cornerback Christian Morton. Terms of the agreements were not disclosed. Subsequently, the Patriots released defensive lineman Ryan Atoe and rookie free agent wide receiver Ricky Bryant.

Sam, 20, was selected by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2004 NFL draft. He was the 164th selection overall. The 6-foot-3-inch, 210-pound wide receiver appeared in 35 games in three seasons at Florida State, where he tallied 1,066 yards on 76 receptions (14.0 avg.) with seven touchdowns. As a junior, in his final collegiate season, the Buford, Ga. native started all 13 games and hauled in 50 passes for 735 yards (14.7 avg.) and five touchdowns.

Morton, 23, was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL draft, the 233rd selection overall. The 6-foot, 188-pound defensive back started 25 games of 45 games in four seasons at the University of Illinois, where he registered 120 career tackles and 41 passes defensed, including five interceptions. Morton also handled the return responsibilities for the Fighting Illini, accumulating 671 yards on 35 kickoff returns (19.2 avg.) and 337 yards on 30 punt returns (11.2 avg.) with one touchdown. As a senior, the St. Louis, Mo. native notched 34 tackles, including an eight-yard sack, and was credited with a blocked kick.

Atoe, 24, was signed by the Patriots on June 14, 2004 after spending the 2004 NFL Europe season with the Cologne Centurions.

Bryant, 23, was signed as a non-drafted rookie free agent out of Hofstra on May 2, 2004.

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