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Ex-Dolphin linebacker Edds claimed

Knee injury kept him out all of last season

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / September 7, 2011

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The Patriots continue to tweak their roster, and yesterday they claimed linebacker A.J. Edds on waivers from the Dolphins, according to a league source.

Edds, who was cut Monday, was taken by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft but he did not play last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during the first week of training camp.

Edds, 6 foot 4 inches, 246 pounds, was a highly touted prospect out of Iowa. He returned to the field this preseason and had a couple of impressive games, including seven tackles and one sack against the Falcons.

At Iowa, Edds played strong-side linebacker in his final 38 starts and was a second-team All-Big Ten selection his senior season.

Two of a kind The Patriots may be ready to add another tight end before the season opener - one who has a brother on the team.

Dan Gronkowski, brother of tight end Rob Gronkowski, is expected to sign, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Dan Gronkowski, who was cut by the Broncos Saturday, was one of a few players the Patriots worked out yesterday.

The Patriots would have to make a move to add Gronkowski, who is not eligible for the practice squad.

Before reports of Dan Gronkowski’s workout surfaced, coach Bill Belichick was asked during a conference call yesterday if he wanted to add a third tight end, after Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

“We’ll do whatever we can on our roster to improve the team, at any position, whatever position that is,’’ he said. “Wherever we get the opportunity to improve the team if we can, we’ll try to do that.’’

Dan Gronkowski had eight catches for 65 yards in 12 games with Denver last season. He is 6-5, 255, and considered more of a blocker. The Lions drafted him in the seventh round out of Maryland in 2009, and traded him to Denver last September.

On Saturday, Rob Gronkowski was asked how Dan felt after being cut by Denver. He said he was in touch with Dan and his other brother Chris Gronkowski, who is a fullback with the Colts, all weekend.

“I’m always cheering for my brothers, but the other one is still out there,’’ Rob said. “He’s definitely a good tight end, and I believe he’s going to be picked up somewhere.’’

Moss questionable Tom Brady stirred a world of “what ifs’’ when he answered a question about Randy Moss during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Dennis and Callahan Show’’ yesterday.

Moss filed his retirement papers in the first week of August, but a recent report stated that he may consider coming back to the NFL if he could play for the Patriots.

Brady was asked if he would be surprised to find himself throwing to Moss again.

“You never know in the NFL,’’ Brady said. “I talked to Randy just before training camp started. I love Randy, one of the greatest receivers in the history of the game. One of the greatest players I’ve ever had the chance to play with, and I love the guy, so . . .

“Unfortunately I don’t make personnel decisions. I’d still have all my friends here. Troy [Brown] would still be here. David Patten would still be here. Deion [Branch] would never have left, but I’ve seen so many guys move on over the years, and then guys come back, so who knows? You never know what the situation will be next week for that matter.

“I can’t get into his brain at all, but I love the guy. He’s a friend of mine. If he ever did have the opportunity to come back, I’d certainly welcome him with open arms.’’

Banking on Branch Branch may not have had a catch during the preseason, but Belichick considers him a key part of the offense and said he had a good camp.

“He hasn’t missed any time at all, and that was something he wasn’t able to do last year,’’ Belichick said. “We had to manage him a little bit in practice but he was, I think, in good condition. He certainly took his share of reps out there in training camp and I thought he looked good doing it.

“Based on what I’ve seen so far and what he has done in training camp and preseason, I think he’s ready to have a good year. Works hard, gives us good leadership at that position, very smart player, instinctive player, knows what to do, does the right thing and is very dependable.

“I think everybody in the organization feels good about counting on Deion. He’s a very consistent guy every day. Every time the ball is snapped, he almost always does the right thing, does it the way you want him to do it. We all have a lot of confidence in Deion.”

By invitation only Among the other players the Patriots worked out yesterday were former Dolphins defensive back Will Allen, former Titans safety Vincent Fuller, and tight end John Nalbone, who has played for the Dolphins and Bengals, among other teams.

Shalise Manza Young of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Monique Walker can be reached at

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