New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Patriots sign Stapleton and Willingham, release Farnham and Grady

The Patriots announced the signing of offensive lineman Darnell Stapleton and cornerback DeAngelo Willingham today. To make room on the 80-man roster, the team released wide receiver Buddy Farnham and defensive lineman Adrian Grady.

Farnham, who grew up in Andover, Mass., and played at Brown University, was a longshot to earn a roster spot after signing as a rookie free agent in May. Grady, played at Louisville University, and spent time on the practice squad for the Patriots and Rams after failing to make the Colts roster out of training camp as an undrafted rookie free agent last season.

Stapleton is a veteran former Steelers interior offensive lineman who made 15 starts at right guard for Pittsburgh in 2008 (including playoffs and Super Bowl XLIII). He injured his knee last preseason and did not play in 2009. Stapleton figures to add depth to a position the  Patriots are currently thin at, considering starting left guard Logan Mankins did not report to camp and his replacement Nick Kaczur is out with a back injury.

Willingham gives the Patriots another layer of depth at cornerback, as starter Leigh Bodden has been sidelined and probably won’t play in the preseason opener.

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