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Patriots sign DL Vellano to practice squad

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The New England Patriots signed defensive lineman Joe Vellano to the practice squad Friday.

The team also released linebacker Eric Martin from the practice squad.

Vellano, 26, was released by the Patriots on Aug. 31. He originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Maryland on May 3, 2013. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder made the 53-man roster as a rookie and played in 16 games with eight starts, and also played in both postseason games that season. He finished the year with 48 total tackles and two sacks.

Vellano began the 2014 season on the 53-man roster and then was part of the practice squad before being re-signed to the 53-man roster in the postseason. He played in five games with one start in the regular season and also saw action in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. He finished the 2014 season with six total tackles and one sack.

Martin, 24, made the 53-man roster out of training camp and played in the opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10, before being released on Sept. 12 and signed to the practice squad on Sept. 16. He was originally signed to the Patriots’ practice squad on Dec. 29, 2014. The 6-2, 250-pounder, entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the New Orleans Saints out of Nebraska in 2013.


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