FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -New England Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel has signed a one-year contract worth $7.79 million, ending a contract dispute that had kept him out of training camp for a month.
Samuel, who tied for the NFL lead with 10 interceptions last season, returned to the team Monday, taking a physical but not practicing. Coach Bill Belichick would not say Tuesday when Samuel would practice.
``I'm glad he's here. I'm glad we got things worked out,'' Belichick said. ``I know that he's been doing things on his own, but it's not the same'' as practicing with the team.
Samuel missed much of the preseason because of a dispute that began when the Patriots applied the franchise tag to the fifth-year veteran in February.
That guaranteed him the one-year, $7.79 million contract, but prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Samuel and the Patriots failed to agree on a long-term contract by the July 17 deadline for this season. After that, he could only re-sign with the Patriots for one year.
Samuel, a fourth-round draft pick in 2003 out of Central Florida, has started 39 games for the Patriots. He tied Denver's Champ Bailey for the NFL lead in interceptions during the 2006 regular season and then returned two more for touchdowns in the playoffs.
Meanwhile Tuesday, the Patriots released offensive lineman Chris Patrick. The undrafted rookie was claimed off waivers from the New York Giants earlier this month.
New England must cut its roster to 75 players by Tuesday.

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