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Release: Patriots sign WR Dedric Ward, place FB Fred McCrary on IR

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The New England Patriots re-signed wide receiver Dedric Ward today. The team subsequently announced that fullback Fred McCrary was placed on the Reserve / Injured list.

Ward, 29, returns to New England after participating in the Patriots' 2003 training camp this past summer. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native has started 33 of 91 games during his seven-year NFL career and has 159 receptions for 2,196 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 109 career punt returns for 912 yards (8.4 avg.) and 6 kickoff returns for 90 yards. The 5-foot-9-inch, 185-pound veteran played in three games this season for the Baltimore Ravens before being released on Nov. 18, 2003. The Patriots first signed Ward as a free agent on May 22, 2003 and he played in all four preseason games for New England this season. He was released in the final roster cutdown on Aug. 31, 2003 and signed with Baltimore on Oct. 6, 2003. In his career, Ward has also spent two seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2001-02) and four seasons with the New York Jets (1997-2000). He was originally drafted by the Jets out of Northern Iowa in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft (88th overall).

McCrary, 31, was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on March 24, 2003 and participated in six games for New England with three starts. The 6-foot, 247-pound Mississippi State product has played in 89 games in his career, starting 62 of those contests. He spent four years with the San Diego Chargers from 1999-2002 and has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles (1995) and the New Orleans Saints (1997).

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