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Patriots re-sign two former players as UFAs

The SportsXchange

The New England Patriots announced Wednesday that they have re-signed unrestricted free agents, cornerback Marquice Cole and linebacker Niko Koutouvides.

Cole, 29, joined the Patriots one year ago on March 19, 2012 after spending the previous three seasons with the New York Jets. He played in 14 games for the Patriots last season, including one start. He ended the season with 12 tackles, one interception, three passes defended and seven tackles on special teams.

Cole also played in the Patriots' two playoff games and had four tackles on defense and four others on special teams.

Cole first signed with the Oakland Raiders in 2007 out of Northwestern as an unsigned college free agent. He eventually spent the last part of that season on the Tennessee Titans' practice squad, a similar role he had in 2008 with the New Orleans Saints. He moved to the New York Jets' practice squad in 2009 before being promoted to the regular 53-man roster.

Cole has played in 51 NFL games (just two starts) and has totaled 26 defensive tackles, three interceptions (including one returned for a touchdown), and 43 tackles on special teams.

Koutouvides, 31, was in training camp with the Patriots in 2012, was released on Aug. 31, but resigned three weeks later and played in all of the Pats' 14 remaining games (12 regular season and two in playoffs). He tallied eight special teams tackles and one on defense in regular season games and one special teams tackle in the playoffs.

Having played college ball at Purdue, Koutouvides was originally drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round (116th overall) of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with Seattle before signing as an unrestricted free agent with the Denver Broncos in March 2008. He was released during the 2008 season and joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he'd play for the next two seasons.

He signed with the Patriots on Aug. 14, 2011, but was released at the start of the season. He came back at midseason and played in 11 games and all three playoff games that season.

In nine seasons, he has played in 125 games (with three starts) and has 63 total tackles and 118 special teams tackles.

Terms for both deals were not announced.

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