September 5, 2013

NFL: Mulligan's time with Patriots turns out to be brief

The Portland Press Herald


Matthew Mulligan's stay with the New England Patriots was exceedingly brief.

Two days after the Patriots signed the tight end from West Enfield and the University of Maine, he was released. New England announced the move Thursday.

Mulligan, 28, had signed with them on Tuesday, three days after he was released by the Green Bay Packers.

He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Mulligan had said Wednesday that several teams have contacted him after his release from Green Bay, but that he signed with the Patriots because it was "the best fit."

He had considered New England's depth at the position, as well as its history of involving fullbacks in the offense. At 6-foor-4, 267 pounds, Mulligan is considered a very good blocker.

"I just felt like, from the standpoint as far as being able to exploit what I do as a tight end, this was the place," he said. "Their organization speaks for itself the way they've used tight ends."

But it obviously didn't work out.

Several Twitter reports said that the Patriots planned to re-sign fullback James Develin -- the man they released to sign Mulligan.

Mulligan, 6-foot-4, 267 pounds, has played in 50 NFL games over four years with the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams. He has 14 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown.

That he was even in the NFL was remarkable. Mulligan did not play football until his sophomore year at Husson University. He attended Penobscot Valley High School in Howland and played soccer in the fall because the school did not offer football.

He transferred to UMaine, where he played for two years, then signed as an undrafted free agent with Miami.

He spent a year on Miami's practice squad, then one on Tennessee's practice squad, before signing with the Jets.

Mulligan was released by St. Louis last March after he had what he thought was a good season. The Packers signed him two weeks later, but released him last Saturday on their last cut.

He said he had been contacted by several teams.

"There was a lot actually," he said. "Initially before they let me go there were some teams looking to trade for me. That didn't work out. We had a few teams calling, other opportunities for sure. But this was the best fit."

The Patriots also released offensive lineman Braxston Cave on Thursday.


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