Patriots sign ex-Saints wide receiver Meredith

Spears: Pats will miss Gronk in crunch time (1:24)

Marcus Spears sees the Patriots struggling in the fourth quarter because they don't have Rob Gronkowski as a security blanket. (1:24)

The New England Patriots have signed wide receiver Cameron Meredith, who became a free agent when the New Orleans Saints released him Monday, four days into training camp.

Meredith played in six games for the Saints in 2018, posting nine receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots placed Meredith on the active/physically unable to perform list, meaning he is not yet cleared to practice, but can be activated at any time

The Patriots have an open competition at receiver after Julian Edelman and first-round pick N'Keal Harry. In recent training camp practices, undrafted free agent Jakobi Meyers (NC State) has elevated to some first-unit reps, which highlights how the club continues to explore all options.

Meredith, 26, had a breakout season for the Chicago Bears in 2016 with 66 catches for 888 yards and four touchdowns, but he tore his ACL and other ligaments during the 2017 preseason. He moved on to New Orleans last year as a restricted free agent.

His 2018 season was cut short by nagging swelling and soreness in the knee, and he was placed on injured reserve in November.

Meredith did not participate in organized team activities and minicamp this summer, saying he was being cautious so he could be fully healthy for training camp and a full 16-game season.

Information from ESPN's Mike Reiss and Mike Triplett was used in this report.