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Patriots Re-Sign Leon Washington, Kline; Release Francis

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The Patriots made a few moves Saturday evening, the most notable of which was re-signing veteran return man Leon Washington.

Veteran Leon Washington is back with the Patriots.
Veteran Leon Washington is back with the Patriots.
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots made a few roster moves Saturday evening, releasing recently acquired defensive lineman A.J. Francis and re-signing veteran running back/return specialist Leon Washington, and promoting offensive lineman Josh Kline to the 53-man roster.  They also signed offensive lineman Braxston Cave to the practice squad.

The Patriots initially claimed Francis from the Dolphins following initial roster cutdowns last Saturday.  He's a candidate to return to the practice squad if he clears waivers (although it should be noted that the Dolphins initially wanted him on their practice squad, so he could return there).

Josh Kline initially made the Patriots' 53-man roster before being waived in favor of Cave and Chris Barker.  He could find his way onto the active roster tomorrow and a versatile piece who can play multiple spots on the interior.

Of course, the big news to come out of these signings is the move to re-sign Washington.  When he was initially released last week, I believed that he could be back after week one, when his salary was no longer fully guaranteed.  Now, by signing him before opening day, Washington has his salary fully guaranteed for the entire year as a vested veteran.  Therefore, I'd expect Washington to remain with the team for the entirety of the season.

I am a fan of the move - I think Washington provides a needed boost to the return game and despite a fumble against the Giants, is reliable in fair catch situations on punt returns.  He will likely be on the active roster tomorrow as well.