- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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In need of depth at linebacker, the Patriots signed six-year veteran Ricky Brown, the former Boston College product who worked out for them Friday.
Brown has played the last five seasons for the Raiders. In 14 games last season, he tallied 13 tackles.
Brown (6-2, 235) entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Oakland. He has played in 55 career regular-season games (13 starts).
In college, he was the 2005 winner of the Scanlon Award, the "highest honor bestowed upon a BC football player that recognizes accomplishments on the field, in the classroom and in the community."
The Patriots' linebacker ranks have been thinned since training camp opened.
Safety Josh Barrett, who initially got some work at weakside linebacker, has been out for most of camp. Starter Brandon Spikes has also been out for weeks, while Dane Fletcher (thumb) and rookie free agents Jeff Tarpinian (leg) and Christian Cox (head/neck) have joined the ranks of those sidelined over the last week.
That created a scenario where special teamers Tracy White and Niko Koutouvides were playing early-game snaps on defense in Thursday's preseason win over the Buccaneers.