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Pats sign TE Scaife, release 3

The Patriots announced the signing of veteran tight end Bo Scaife today, while also announcing the release of three players -- second-year defensive end Markell Carter, rookie tight end Nick Melillo and rookie offensive lineman Jon Opperud.

The 31-year-old Scaife, who worked out for the team last week, played for the Titans from 2005-2010. He signed with the Bengals in 2011, but was placed on season-ending injured reserve (shoulder) in the preseason and didn't play last year.

Scaife entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick (179th overall) in 2005 out of Texas. He was selected by then-Titans general manager Floyd Reese, who now serves as a Patriots senior advisor.

At 6-foot-3 and 249 pounds, he is considered more in the mold of a "move" tight end, similar to Aaron Hernandez. Scaife has played in 90 NFL games with 62 starts and has recorded 251 receptions for 2,383 yards and 12 touchdowns. In 2010, he started in 13 of 14 games and finished with 36 receptions for 318 yards and four touchdowns.

The signing of Scaife is a reflection on thin depth at tight end, as Rob Gronkowski (left ankle) and Daniel Fells (unknown) remain out of practice.

As for the three released players, Carter's situation was covered earlier this morning. Melillo and Opperud were longshots for a roster spot.

The Patriots now have two open spots on their 90-man roster.