Pats sign linebacker Freeny to replace Gronk's roster spot

After the New England Patriots added Dwayne Allen in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts, it didn't appear that there would be much playing time available for rookie tight end Jacob Hollister. This will mark Freeny's second stint with the Patriots.

Freeny, 28, spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with New England before being released following training camp on the final cut-down on September 2.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Freeny originally entered the National Football League as a rookie free agent with the Dolphins out of Rutgers in 2011.

He was released by the Dolphins before the 2011 campaign began and then linked up with the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League.

Freeny, a Rutgers product, played three games with the Baltimore Ravens this season.

The following year, Freeny made the Dolphins' active roster, where he played primarily on special teams.

In March 2015, the Patriots signed Freeny, and he went on to start seven games for New England that ensuing season, finishing with 50 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

The Patriots also claimed Martellus Bennett off waivers to supplement their depth, but a pre-existing shoulder injury landed him on injured reserve after just two games.

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