FOXBOROUGH, Mass.- The New England Patriots signed first-year safety Russell Stuvaints to the team's eight-man practice squad today. The team subsequently released wide receiver Michael Jennings from the practice squad.
Stuvaints (pronounced STU-vants) was originally signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers as an undrafted free agent following the 2003 NFL draft. The 6-foot, 202-pound Youngstown State product opened the 2003 season on the Steelers practice squad and remained there until he was signed to Pittsburgh's active roster on Dec. 2, 2003. He played in the final four games of the season for the Steelers and recorded three special teams tackles (2 solo). The 24-year-old was released by Pittsburgh at the NFL's final roster cutdown on Sept. 5, 2004. Stuvaints will wear number 29.
Jennings, 25, was signed by the Patriots as a first-year free agent on March 24, 2004. The 5-foot-11-inch, 175-pounder from Florida State played in each of the Patriots' four preseason games and recorded two receptions for seven yards, including a 5-yard touchdown grab in the preseason opener against Philadelphia on Aug. 13. He was released by the Patriots in the final roster cutdown on Sept. 5, 2004 and was signed to the practice squad on Sept. 6.