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Pats Sign RB Michael Cloud; Release S Arturo Freeman

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots signed free agent running back Michael Cloud today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. To make room for Cloud on the 53-man roster, the team released safety Arturo Freeman. Cloud will wear number 34 for the Patriots.

Cloud, 30, played in five games for the Patriots in the 2003 season, starting one, and ran the ball 27 times for 118 yards and a team-high five touchdowns. The 5-foot-10-inch, 205-pound running back is in his seventh NFL season and has played in 71 career games with seven starts and has recorded 169 rushes for 589 yards and 12 touchdowns, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs (1999-2002), Patriots (2003) and New York Giants (2004). The former Boston College star has also caught 13 passes for 100 yards and has returned 56 kickoffs for 1,194 yards in his career. He was originally drafted by the Chiefs in the second round (53rd overall) of the 1999 NFL Draft. Cloud, a former high school star at Portsmouth (R.I.) High, joined the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent on June 23, 2003. He led the Patriots with five rushing touchdowns in 2003, and scored two touchdowns in two separate games, against Tennessee (10/5/03) and Indianapolis (11/30/03). Cloud was released by the Patriots in the final 2004 preseason roster cutdown (9/3/04) and was signed by the New York Giants (9/6/04). He played in 10 games for the Giants last season before being released following the 2005 preseason (9/4/05).

Freeman, 28, was signed by the Patriots as a veteran free agent on Oct. 12, 2005. He played in two games for the Patriots this season, starting one, and recorded eight tackles (5 solo). Freeman is in his sixth NFL season and has played in 74 games with 30 starts and spent the first five years of his career with the Miami Dolphins (2000-04). The 6-foot, 200-pound safety has recorded 207 career tackles (140 solo), 3.5 sacks, five interceptions, 22 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and 42 special teams tackles. Freeman was released by the Dolphins on Feb. 23, 2005, and was in training camp with the Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans this summer. He was selected by Miami in the fifth round (152nd overall) of the 2000 NFL Draft out of South Carolina.

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