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NFL Free Agency 2012: Patriots Sign Matthew Slater, Marcus Harrison, Dan Connolly

The New England Patriots announced Thursday that they had re-signed Matthew Slater and signed defensive tackle Marcus Harrison (via WEEI). In addition, the Patriots reportedly re-signed offensive lineman Dan Conolly (via NESN).

Slater has been with the Pats for four years and has been all over the field as a wide receiver, kick returner, safety and special teams contributor. Slater was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011 as a special teams player. Last season, Slater made 17 special teams tackles and 10 tackles on defense. He also returned four kicks for 68 yards and made one reception for 46 yards.

Harrison was drafted by the Bears in 2008. Harrison has made 55 tackles (43 solo) and 3 sacks during his career. Harrison has not played since the 2010 season, but was signed and released by New England last season.

Connolly has played center and guard during his six-year career. Connolly has come up big for the Pats during the last two seasons, starting at least 11 games both years. It is possible that the re-signing of Connolly spells the end of Dan Koppen's nine-year career with the Patriots.

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