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Patriots release veteran punter

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots released veteran punter Scott Player on Thursday. He was signed by the Patriots as a free agent on April 23, 2008.

Scott Player, Punter

Years: 10

Punts: 727

Avg: 43.1

In 20: 185

Player, 38, is a veteran of 10 NFL seasons with the Arizona Cardinals (1998-2006) and Cleveland Browns (2007). The 6-foot-1, 211-pound punter has played in 143 career NFL games, recording 727 punts for 31,345 yards, 64 touchbacks and 185 punts inside the 20-yard line. Player has recorded a career gross average of 43.1 yards per punt and a net average of 35.8 yards per punt. His gross average (43.1 yards) is tied for 24th in NFL history among all punters who have totaled at least 250 punts, while his net average (35.8 yards) is tied for 26th in league annals.

Player is the Cardinals' all-time leader in total punts (714), punting yards (30,752) and punts downed inside the 20-yard line (179). He was selected to the Pro Bowl following the 1998 season.

Player attended Florida State and began his professional football career in 1995 with the Birmingham Barracudas of the Canadian Football League. He signed with the NFL's Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 1996, but was released following that season's training camp. Player spent the spring of 1997 with the World League's Frankfurt Galaxy and was with the New York Giants during the 1997 preseason before being released.

In 1998, he re-joined the Cardinals and began a nine-year run in Arizona during which he punted in all but four games and set all of the franchise's major career punting records. Player set career highs in 2004 with 98 punts for a franchise-record 4,230 yards. In 2006, he set a career high for single-season gross average (44.9 yards). Player was released by the Cardinals on Aug. 29, 2007. He signed with Cleveland on Sept. 18, 2007 and punted in three games for the Browns last season before being released on Oct. 8.

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