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Ward deal official

The Patriots signed former Jets and Dolphins receiver Dedric Ward Thursday.

The Patriots signed free agent wide receiver Dedric Ward on Thursday. Ward spent four years with the Jets and two with the Dolphins before agreeing to terms with New England.

Ward, a 5-9, 185-pound speedster who played three years (1997-99) under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis in New York, is entering his seventh NFL season.

Ward, who played with St. Louis quarterback Kurt Warner in college at Northern Iowa, spent his first four seasons in New York, establishing career highs in starts (16), receptions (54) and yards (801) in 2000, his final campaign with the Jets. That was one year after Weis and Bill Belichick left the Meadowlands and came to New England.

Ward signed a free agent deal with the Dolphins the following year but never fully emerged in Miami despite the team's glaring need for receiving help. In two seasons with the Dolphins (2001-02), Ward caught just 40 balls for 381 yards and failed to score a single touchdown.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed but it is believed to be worth close to the veteran minimum.

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