FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots signed free agent linebacker Chad Brown today. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The team also released three players; cornerback Antwain Spann, wide receiver Jonathan Smith and rookie tight end Jake Nordin.
Brown is in his second (officially his third) stint with the Patriots. After signing a deal with the team in 2005, the veteran linebacker was injured during the team's 2006 camp and was released prior to the start of the season. He signed on with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006, appearing in 8 games for the Gold and Black.
The 36-year old veteran defender managed 54 defensive tackles as the starting inside linebacker for the Patriots in 2005. He was moved back to a reserve role when Tedy Bruschi returned from the PUP list (stroke).
Brown is entering his 15th season in the league. His possible return was first reported by the Standard-Times back in early May.
Spann, a reserve defensive back for New England, appeared mostly on special teams for the Patriots. The 6-foot-0, 190-pound Louisiana-Lafayette product was originally signed as a free agent on January 19, 2006. Initially a member of the practice squad, Spann was elevated to the active roster in time to appear in eight regular season games. He also played in all three postseason contests.
Smith, another reserve wide receiver for the Patriots was signed by the team February 5, 2007. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Georgia Tech product saw action in just two games for the Patriots. Acquired off of waivers from the Buffalo Bills, Smith was cut then re-signed by the team before being placed on the practice squad.
Nordin, an undrafted rookie free agent tight end, was signed on May 8, 2007. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Northern Illinois product participated in the team's May rookie minicamp and June veteran minicamp. In 38 games for the Huskies, Nordin recorded 54 catches for 547 yards.