By Levan Reid, WBZ-TV SportsBy Levan Reid

BOSTON (CBS) -The New England Patriots have signed eight players to their practice squad, the team announced Monday.

Of the eight-man squad, four were not with the Patriots in the preseason.

LB Markell Carter, RB Eric Kettani, OL Matt Kopa, DE Aaron Lavarias, OL Nick McDonald, WR Kerry Taylor, S Ross Ventrone and OL Thomas Welch make up the Patriots 2011 practice squad.  Players on the “scout team” can practice with the active roster but cannot play in a game unless they are signed to the active roster. Practice squad players are free to sign a contract with any team in the NFL at any point, without compensation to the team they leave.

Carter, New England’s sixth round pick in 2011, Kettani, Lavarias and Ventrone were all released over the weekend as part of the team’s roster cuts.

Read: Levan Reid’s Patriots Blog

Kettani was signed as a rookie free agent in 2009 out of Navy, but was placed on the reserve military  list. He was activated in July.

Ventrone spent the 2010 season on the Patriots practice squad.

Taylor, McDonald, Kopa and Welch were not in New England during training camp.  The Pats have gone deep at guard in the last week.  They just picked up Brian Waters also but at the same time, you can’t have enough offensive lineman in your stable.

Just for your information, practice squad members start out making $88,000 and that amount can be increased depending on whether a team wants to sign them.  If the player chooses to stay because he knows the system, he most likely will get a raise.


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