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Report: Moore to return

It looks like veteran linebacker Marty Moore will get a chance to return to the field with the Patriots after all.

No move has been officially announced, but the Boston Herald reported Friday that Moore had agreed to a deal with New England after being released on March 5 this offseason. The Patriots originally drafted him with the final pick in the 1994 NFL draft, earning Moore the moniker of "Mr. Irrelevant." He became the first such player to start his NFL debut when he replaced Todd Collins in the starting lineup in the 1994 opener against Miami.

Moore played six seasons with the team (1994-99) before signing with the Cleveland Browns as an unrestricted free agent in 2000. In eight seasons, he has played 112 games and had 175 tackles, one sack, three interceptions and 110 special teams stops.

Moore re-signed with New England just before the start of the 2001 season after spending one season in Cleveland, but he suffered an Achilles injury and was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 2. He played the first three games of the season, mostly on special teams, and had two defensive tackles.

Not including either Moore or guard Rich Tylski, who also reportedly agreed to a deal this week, New England has 73 players under contract. There are actually 79 players officially with the team, but none of the six draft picks have signed contracts yet.

One roster spot opened when rookie quarterback Major Applewhite was waived late Thursday, and the Patriots do get some roster exemptions for players in NFL Europe. The move with Applewhite came after the quarterback informed the team earlier this week that he would not be returning to New England. He thanked the team for the opportunity, but he was going back to the University of Texas to finish his degree.

With the release of Applewhite, wide receiver T.C. Taylor is the lone undrafted rookie free agent on the roster.

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