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Patriots bring veteran FB Marcel Reece in for a tryout

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Longtime Oakland Raiders fullback Marcel Reece, a player whom Bill Belichick has spoken highly of in the past, was one of five players the New England Patriots had in town for workouts over the last 24 hours.

The 6-foot-1, 250-pound Reece is a four-time Pro Bowler who was released by the Raiders on Monday, which was the first day he was scheduled to return from a four-game suspension that began last season. Reece had been suspended prior to the final game of 2015 for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

A converted college receiver at Washington, Reece was second-team All-Pro in 2013 and had 15 career touchdowns in 92 games with 67 starts for the Raiders. He had 205 catches for 2,015 yards and 12 scores and carried the ball 183 times for 844 yards and three touchdowns.

In 2014, prior to a Patriots game against the Raiders, Belichick referred to Reece as a "matchup player."

“You put a big guy on him, he’s probably going to have a hard time matching up with Reece’s speed and quickness,” Belichick said at the time. “Put a smaller guy on him, he might match up with his speed and quickness, but it would be hard to match up with his size. I’d say that’s a dilemma. Who do you have that has the same skill set as Reece?"

In addition to Reece, the Patriots also had guards Jake Bernstein (Vanderbilt) and Chase Farris (Ohio State), center Robert Kugler (Purdue) and tight end Greg Scruggs (Louisville) in for workouts.