FOXBORO, Mass - The New England Patriots signed tight end Cameron Cleeland today. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Cleeland, 26, has caught 95 passes for 1,147 yards (12.1 avg.), including 11 touchdowns while starting in 31 of 36 games during his four-year career. Last season, he was an effective red zone receiver, scoring on four of his 13 receptions while starting seven of nine games for the Saints.
The 6-foot-4-inch, 272-pound tight end was originally drafted in the second round of the 1998 NFL draft (40th overall) by the Saints. He started all 16 games during his rookie season and led the team with 54 receptions and six touchdowns. His 684 yards receiving was second on the team. His 54 receptions tied a Saints rookie record (Tony Galbreath; 1976) and was the second highest total by a tight end in team history (57, Wesley Walls; 1995). In 1999, Cleeland hauled in 28 receptions for 325 yards (12.5 avg.) and one touchdown. Cleeland missed the 2000 season on injured reserve.