FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Matt Mulligan was unemployed for about 72 hours over the Labor Day weekend.
After being among the final players cut by the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, the Enfield native has signed a contract with the New England Patriots.
The move was announced by the team Tuesday, a day after the former University of Maine tight end went through a workout with the Patriots. Terms of Mulligan’s deal were not disclosed.
New England head coach Bill Belichick spoke about Mulligan during his Tuesday morning conference conference.
“He’s an experienced tight end that we’ve played against before. We’ll put him in there in that group and see how it all comes together,” Belichick said. “He’s had a lot of success blocking and he’s a tough, physical player. But we’ll see how it goes.”
New England, which on Saturday released media magnet quarterback Tim Tebow and in recent days made several other roster moves, becomes the third team in 18 months for the 28-year-old Mulligan.
He spent the 2012-2013 season with the St. Louis Rams. He appeared in 16 games, including nine starts, and made eight catches for 84 yards, including his only NFL touchdown.
Mulligan was released by the Rams in March, then was signed by Green Bay and spent training camp and the preseason with the Packers, whose roster includes former UMaine standout Jerron McMillian.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Mulligan, who signed with Miami as an undrafted free agent in 2008, is a veteran of four NFL seasons, including three (2009-2011) with the New York Jets. He has 50 NFL games under his belt.
With the Patriots, Mulligan joins a corps of tight ends that includes Rob Gronkowski, Michael Hoomanawanui and rookie Zach Sudfield. Gronkowski, a two-time Pro Bowl pick, has been back at practice this week as he recovers from offseason surgery on a previously broken and infected forearm and on his back.
Last season, Mulligan spoke about how lucky he is to have the opportunity to play in the NFL.
He attended Penobscot Valley High School in Howland, which does not have a football team. There, he was a standout in soccer, basketball and tennis.
He started his football career at Husson University in Bangor, but transferred to UMaine, where he worked his way into the starting lineup at tight end.
Mulligan is among four former UMaine stars playing in the NFL. That group includes defensive tackle Mike DeVito of Hampden, who is now with Kansas City, along with McMillian and special-teams performer Montell Owens, who is expected to be placed on the Detroit Lions’ short-term injured reserve list with a knee injury.