The Patriots announced the signing of veteran cornerback Deltha O'Neal this morning. According to the Boston Globe, O'Neal reportedly was on SIRIUS NFL Radio and told his hosts that he would be visiting the Patriots on Monday.
The 5-foot-11, 194-pound defender spent the past four years with the Cincinnati Bengals (2004-07) after spending his first four with the Denver Broncos (2000-03). The Bengals opted to release O'Neal as part of the final round of roster cuts on August 30,2008.
O'Neal provides additional depth to a unit depleted by roster cuts last week. The Patriots released starting cornerback Fernando Bryant and reserve corner Mike Richardson only a few days after parting ways with Jeff Shoate and Jason Webster.
O'Neal will wear No. 21 for the Patriots.
Tight End Shuffle
The Patriots confirmed the addition of tight end Jason Pociask today. PatriotsInsider.com reported yesterday that Pociask was claimed off waivers from the New York Jets. The move to add the second-year player to the roster combined with the team's decision to sign Tyson DeVree to the practice squad created a logjam at the tight end position. The Patriots parted ways with Stephen Spach to make room for Pociask.
Pociask (pronounced POE-zee-ack) was originally selected by the New York Jets in the fifth round (150th overall) in the the 2006 NFL Draft. The Wisconsin product played in 4 games for the Jets last season after spending the 2006 season on I/R.
DeVree was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent May 5, 2008. After a being cut after minicamp, DeVree was re-signed during training camp on August 19, 2008. He was part of the Patriots final round of roster cuts August 30th. DeVree was a college teammate of Patriots second round pick, defensive back Terrence Wheatley at the University of Colorado.
Spach was originally signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent on December 12, 2007. He played in three games for the Patriots in 2007.
More Help For The Offensive Line
As reported earlier, the Patriots have claimed Offensive lineman Mark LeVoir off waivers from the St. Louis Rams. LeVoir, (pronounced le-VORE) was originally signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent on May 5, 2006. The 6-foot-7, 306-pound Notre Dame product spent 2006 and part of 2007 on the Bears practice squad. The Rams signed LeVoir off the Bears squad to the Rams' active roster on November 13, 2007.
LeVoir could add some much-needed depth to the Patriots' offensive line, which is still missing Stephen Neal and Oliver Ross. Russ Hochstein and Matt Light have also missed a significant amount of practice time. Light played in the Patriots preseason finale.
The Patriots also announced the signing Jacob Bender to the practice squad. Scout.com's Adam Caplan first reported Bender's signing yesterday. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound lineman was originally selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round (177th) overall in the 2007 NFL Draft out of Nicholls State. The Maryland native participated in just two games for the Jets his rookie year. The Jets released Bender on August 30.