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Release: Patriots sign P Brooks Barnard

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots announced the signing of rookie punter Brooks Barnard today. He will wear number 8.

Barnard, 24, was a two-time all-ACC punter during his career at Maryland (1999-2002) and graduated as the school's all-time leader in punting average for a career (43.7 yard average), single season (44.7 in 2000) and single game (53.8). The 6-foot-3-inch, 195-pound punter finished his career as the fourth-leading punter in ACC history and was a two-time semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award. Last season, he punted in all 14 games for the Terrapins and finished the season with a 43.2-yard average. He signed with the Chicago Bears as a rookie free agent on May 1, 2003. He was waived at the end of training camp on August 25.

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