Patriots Sign 2 Vets And 15 Rookies

Foxborough - The New England Patriots added a pair of linebackers to the team yesterday. Veteran free agents Barry Gardner (Jets) and Jeremy Loyd (Rams) became the team's latest foray into free agency on the defensive side of the ball. Both Gardner and Loyd are experienced players with knowledge of how to play at the inside position.

The 6-foot-1, 245-pound Gardner, is a seven-year veteran who has played for three NFL Clubs previously including; the Eagles (1999-2002), Browns (2003-04) and Jets (2005).

The former Northwestern product will compete for a roster spot at the inside backer position, formerly occupied by Chad Brown and Matt Chatham, two players who have moved on from New England. Gardner's primary competition for playing time will likely come from last season's free agent acquisition Monty Beisel, who was targeted to occupy the inside role while Tedy Bruschi recovered from injury.

Over his career, Gardner has appeared in 110 career games in which he managed 186 tackles, 2 sacks, one interception, seven passes defended, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Gardner was originally drafted by the Philadelphia in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft (35th overall)t. He was released by the Jets on February 22, 2006.

Jeremy Loyd, 25, has been a member of the St. Louis Rams for parts of the last three seasons (2003-05). The 6-foot-2, 235-pound defender has appeared in 14 games over his career, managing 10 special teams tackles. Listed as an inside linebacker, Loyd has participated mostly on special teams.

Originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted rookie free agent on June 2, 2003, Loyd was released by Cleveland after training camp and signed by the Rams and placed on their practice squad (Sept. 10, 2003). He was later signed to the active roster where he played in 10 games his rookie season. He spend the entire 2004 season on injured reserve and only play in the final four games of the 2005 season afer spending most of the season not on an active roster.

The Patriots continue to shore up their roster by adding veteran free agents who may be able to add depth to the current roster.

Undrafted Rookie Free Agents:

The team announced the signing of 15 rookie free agents. As previously reported by PatriotsInsider.com, there are a few new additions to the list. You can find our more information on players by clicking on their profile.

Safeties:
Jarvis Herring, Florida
Keon Jackson, Toledo
Sam Smith, Delaware State

Linebackers:
Corey Mays, Notre Dame
Freddie Roach, Alabama
Pierre Woods, Michigan

Cornerbacks:
Vernell Brown, Florida
Gemara Williams, Buffalo

Defensive Tackle:
Remi Ayodele, Oklahoma

Defensive End:
Kader Drame, Syracuse

Center:
Brian Barthelmes, Virginia

Offensive Tackle:
Randy Hand, Florida

Receivers:
Erik Davis, Vanderbilt
Matt Shelton

Quarterback:
Corey Bramlet

Minicamp Set:

Patriots rookie minicamp will be held at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough on May 13th and 14th. All 2006 draft picks and rookie free agents are required to attend.

 

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