Patriots Re-sign Spann, Release Williams

Antwain Spann (AP Photo)

The Patriots added Antwain Spann back to their practice squad on Tuesday, releasing defensive back Gemara Willams to make room. The team also put tight end Jason Rader on IR.

FOXBORO, Mass. - The Patriots re-signed defensive back Antwain Spann to the practice squad on Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not available. The team also released defensive back Gemara Williams and placed tight end Jason Rader on the reserve/injured list.

The Patriots originally signed Spann, a reserve defender and practice squad regular last season, on January 19, 2006. The 6-foot, 195-pound cornerback was signed and released from the practice squad a number of times, appearing in just eight regular season game for the Patriots, and all three of their playoff appearances. He was released during the team's summer minicamp on July 19, 2007. Spann played mostly special teams for New England in 2006, but did see action as a substitute on defense due to injuries in the secondary.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Terrence Wilkins (10) tries to break the tackle of New England Patriots cornerback Antwain Spann (31) in the second quarter of the AFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 21, 2007, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

The Patriots originally signed Williams as an undrafted rookie free agent on May 8, 2006. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound university of Buffalo product spent his rookie season on injured reserve. The Patriots released him during the team's initial set of roster cuts to the NFL mandated limit of 75 on August 18, 2007. Williams was re-signed to the practice squad on September 12, 2007. During training camp, Williams lined up at both corner and safety position. He spent time returning kicks along with fellow defensive back Willie Andrews.

Rader was signed to the Patriots practice squad on September 3, 2007 as an unrestricted free agent. He did not appear in any of the Patriots 2007 games. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound tight end was originally signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent 2004. After spending the 2004 season out of football, Rader signed with the Miami Dolphins on June 13, 2005. A reserve end and special teams contributor, Rader split his time between the active roster and the practice squad through th e2005-06 seasons in Miami. He appeared in just 5 regular season games for the Dolphins. He also participated in NFL Europe, playing for the Rhine Fire in 2005.

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