The Patriots have signed TE Bo Scaife and released three players, including DE Markell Carter, the club announced Thursday.
Scaife, 31, missed the 2011 season with a neck injury. He caught 251 passes for 2,383 yards and 11 TDs in six seasons for Tennessee (2005-10) before signing with the Bengals last year.
Carter (6-4, 248) was a sixth-round pick of New England in the 2011 draft. He was released last September but re-signed to the practice squad.
Also released were rookie TE Nick Meillio and OL Jon Opperud. Both were undrafted free agents.
The way we see it
Scaife's addition bolsters an already very strong TE depth chart led by Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, the game's top tandem at the position. He was a reliable short-area pass catcher in his best years for Tennessee.
Carter spent his entire rookie season on the practice squad, despite a couple weeks in which it seemed that Carter would get the call up, especially when DE Andre Carter suffered a season-ending injury. The Patriots showed their value for him by giving him a high practice-squad salary, but the developmental pass rusher clearly hadn't progressed as the team hoped, and there is certainly more depth in the front seven now than there was last year, making Carter expendable.