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Patriots confirm release of Leon Washington, Marquice Cole, ink 5 to practice squad, set roster at 53

09.01.13 at 6:50 pm ET

FOXBORO — Late Sunday afternoon the Patriots confirmed the release of veterans Leon Washington and Marquice Cole to set their roster at 53 players in preparation for their season opener next Sunday in Buffalo.

In a flurry of moves typical in the week before the opener, the Patriots claimed four players off waivers. They added third-year LB Chris White off waivers from Detroit, and three rookies, OL Braxston Cave (Cleveland), G Chris Barker (Miami) and DT A.J. Francis (Miami).

Any players signed off waivers from another team must be added to the 53-man active roster and are not immediately eligible for the practice squad. Those four signings required the Patriots to cut two more players Sunday to get to the limit. New England entered Sunday with 51 players on the active roster.

In addition, the Patriots re-signed LB Ja’€™Gared Davis, S Kanorris Davis, DB Justin Green, DL Marcus Forston and LB Jeff Tarpinian to the practice squad. All five of those players were released by the team Saturday.

Here is the breakdown of the players claimed, signed and released:

    Cave, 24, was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as a rookie free agent out of Notre Dame on April 30, 2013. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder, was released by Cleveland on Aug. 30, 2013. Cave played in 48 games for Notre Dame, including 35 starts at center. He also served as the team’€™s long snapper.

    Barker, 23, was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent out of Nevada on May 3, 2013. The 6-foot-2, 310-pounder was released by Miami on Aug. 31, 2013. Barker was a four-year starter at Nevada, and became the first player in school history to start every game in all four seasons.

    Francis, 23, was originally signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent out of Maryland on May 3, 2013. The 6-foot, 316-pounder was released by Miami on Aug. 31. He was a four-year letterman at Maryland and recorded 149 total tackles, 9 ½ sacks and three blocked kicks.

    White, 24, is a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2011-12). The 6-foot-3, 238-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round draft pick (169th overall) out of Mississippi State in 2011. He was traded from Buffalo to Detroit on Aug. 25, 2013, in exchange for QB Thaddeus Lewis. White was released by Detroit on Aug. 31, 2013. In two NFL seasons, he has played in 22 games, mainly on special teams. Last season, White played in 15 games and finished with 11 special teams tackles.

    Cole, 29, was re-signed by the Patriots on March 20, 2013. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder is a veteran of four NFL seasons with the New York Jets (2009-11) and the Patriots (2012). He originally joined New England as a free agent on March 19, 2012. Cole originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with Oakland out of Northwestern in 2007. He spent the end of the 2007 season on the Tennessee practice squad and part of the 2008 season on the practice squad of New Orleans. Cole began the 2009 season on the practice squad of the New York Jets before joining the 53-man roster early in September. Cole has played in 51 NFL games with two starts and has registered 26 defensive tackles, three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and 43 special teams tackles. Last season, he played in 14 games with one start and finished with 12 total tackles and one interception.

    Washington, 31, was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on March 14m 2013. The 5-foot-8, 192-pounder is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with the New York Jets (2006-09) and the Seattle Seahawks (2010-12). The 5-foot-8, 203 pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round (117th pick overall) draft choice by the Jets out of Florida State in 2006. He was traded by the Jets to the Seahawks on April 24, 2010 for a 2010 fifth-round draft choice. Washington was released by Seattle on March 12, 2013.

    Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also tied an NFL record when he returned two kicks for a touchdown in a game against San Diego in 2010. Washington earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2012 and All-Pro honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010.

    Washington has played in 103 NFL games with 14 starts and has registered 473 rushing attempts for 2,213 yards and 16 touchdowns, and 146 receptions for 1,127 yards and two touchdowns. He has also returned 168 punts for 1,668 yards and 244 kickoffs for 6,315 yards and eight touchdowns.

    Ja’€™Gared Davis, 22, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Aug. 28, 2013. The 6-foot, 238-pounder, was originally signed by the Houston Texans as a rookie free agent from Southern Methodist on May 10, 2013 and was released on Aug. 27, 2013. He played in 53 college games and recorded 301 total tackles, 20 sacks, four interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

    Kanorris Davis, 23, joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Troy on May 3, 2013. The 5-foot-10, 207-pounder, played as a linebacker in college where he helped Troy win the Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2011 and 2012.

    Green, 22, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Illinois on July 21, 2013. The 5-foot-11, 195-pounder began his college career at Illinois as a running back before moving to the secondary for his final three seasons. He made 29 starts over his final three seasons, registering 76 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

    Forston, 23, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Miami on May 10, 2012. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder made the 53-man roster right out of camp, but was released early in the season and brought back to the practice squad where he spent the majority of the season. He eventually re-joined the 53-man roster prior to the AFC Championship game. Forston played in one game in the regular season, but did not register any statistics in that game.

    Tarpinian, 25, originally joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Iowa on July 27, 2011. He has rotated between the Patriots practice squad and the 53-man roster over the last two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 240-pounder has played in 10 NFL games with one start and has registered five total tackles on defense and eight tackles on special teams.

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