Foxboro, Mass.-The New England Patriots announced that they have signed punter David Leaverton to the team's practice squad today. Subsequently, the team released rookie free agent punter Dan Hadenfeldt.
Leaverton, 23, was one of just two punters who were drafted in the 2001 NFL draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars selected him in the fifth round. The 6-foot-4-inch, 210-pound product averaged 40.6 yards per punt on 180 career punts in four years at Tennessee. He was a four-time academic all-conference selection and was a semi-finalist for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the nation's top punter. He punted 13 times for 580 yards (44.6 avg.) for the Jaguars during the preseason, but was released before the start of the season.
Hadenfeldt, 25, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent on April 27, 2001. As a junior at Nebraska, the 5-foot-10-inch, 195-pound punter set a single-season school record by averaging 44.9-yards per punt. He was waived by the Patriots on Aug. 12, 2001 and re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 16, 2001.