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Patriots Sign LB James Vaughters to a Reserve/Future Contract

The team has signed a defender for the 2016 season.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On December 31, 2014, the New England Patriots signed a little known and oft-injured but talented running back to a reserve/future contract. Not even a year later, Dion Lewis turned into one of the most exciting members of the Patriots' offense.

Lewis, of course, was a major surprise and one of the feel-good stories of the Patriots' 2015 season. Naturally, the chances of a repeat success are slim – still, New England tries its best to find its 2016 version of Lewis. Maybe it is linebacker James Vaughters, whom the team signed to a reserve/future contract yesterday (according to Mike Reiss):

For 2016, Patriots sign LB James Vaughters (Stanford/Packers) to a reserve/future deal today. 6-foot-2, 254 pounds.

The 22-year old former Stanford Cardinal went undrafted in 2015 and subsequently signed a free agent deal with the Green Bay Packers. After being released as part of roster-cutdowns, he was signed to Green Bay's practice squad. However, the team waived him with an injury settlement after Vaughters suffered a biceps injury in October.

Last week, the 6'2", 255 lbs linebacker was in Foxboro for a visit with the Patriots, who have now signed him to a future contract.