Patriots bring back TE Mills, release two

The Patriots on Sunday announced that they have re-signed tight end Garrett Mills, who last was with the team in 2007. They also announced that safety Bret Lockett and offensive lineman Zach Roth have been released.

Mills was a fourth-round draft selection of the Patriots in 2006. After not playing his rookie season, the Patriots waived Mills after the 2007 preseason and planned on him returning to their practice squad. Instead, the Vikings claimed Mills off waivers, prompting the Patriots to claim Vikings linebacker David Herron off waivers in an apparent act of retaliation.

After spending three seasons in Minnesota, Mills split the 2010 season between Philadelphia, where he played in seven games and had two receptions, and Cincinnati, who released Mills last week.

Lockett was carted off the field in Thursday's preseason game in Tampa after suffering a thigh injury. NESN.com's Jeff Howe reported that it was a groin/abdominal injury for Lockett and that he was likely done for the season; it is possible that Lockett was waived with the "injured" designation, meaning that he could return to the injured reserve list, or that he received an injury settlement from the team.

Roth was an undrafted free agent out of Texas Christian University who signed on Aug. 13. He suffered an injury on his first day of practice, but returned to action two days later. He was a longshot to make the final roster.