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Patriots Notebook

Line deeper with Waters

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / September 5, 2011

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The Patriots offensive line gained a little depth yesterday with the addition of veteran guard Brian Waters, who played 11 seasons with the Chiefs.

Waters signed a two-year deal worth up to $5.5 million, according to a league source.

Waters, who is 6 feet 3 inches and 320 pounds, arrives at the right time for the Patriots, who are looking for options on a line struggling with injuries. Ryan Wendell was out most of the preseason with an injury and Dan Connolly hurt his ankle in the third preseason game. On Saturday, the team placed reserve lineman Rich Ohrnberger on injured reserve.

Waters, 34, was selected to five Pro Bowls as a left guard, including last season, and was first-team All-Pro in 2004 and ’05. His résumé also includes the 2009 Walter Payton Man of the Year, given by the league to honor a player’s charitable work and on-field play.

He was released by the Chiefs as training camp started July 28.

Finding work The Patriots couldn’t keep everyone on their roster and a few other teams were grateful. At least nine former Patriots who were cut in the last week have landed with new teams.

Brandon Meriweather tops the list as the safety signed a one-year deal with the Bears less than 24 hours after he was cut.

Meriweather used his Twitter account to say goodbye to New England, “Thanks to everybody that believes n me n all that hate me, But this train is headed to chi town. I love everybody n Boston n thanks again.’’

A few teams had their eye on receiver Brandon Tate, who was awarded to the Bengals, although two other teams - including the Jets - put in claims for the third-year player.

Cornerback Jonathan Wilhite was signed by the Broncos and linebacker Ricky Brown, who was with the Patriots for two weeks, rejoined the Raiders.

The Bills claimed Lee Smith and the Dolphins claimed Will Yeatman as the Patriots attempted to sneak the rookie tight ends onto the practice squad.

Snap judgments Long snappers aren’t having much success with coach Bill Belichick these days. Yesterday, the Patriots released James Dearth and claimed rookie Danny Aiken from the Bills. Aiken, who played at Virginia, will be the team’s fourth long snapper in the last two seasons . . . The Patriots began piecing together their practice squad. Among the players signed included defensive ends Markell Carter and Alex Silvestro, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias, safety Ross Ventrone, and former Packers offensive lineman Nick McDonald.

Monique Walker can be reached at

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