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Cunningham activated, Patriots release Brace

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  December 29, 2012 06:48 PM

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The Patriots have announced several roster moves:

DL Jermaine Cunningham, whose four-game suspension for violation of the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs ended on Monday, was activated off of the exempt list;

WR Kamar Aiken and DB Malcolm Williams were promoted off of the team's practice squad. Aiken was promoted last week before the Jacksonville game, played in that game, then was released and re-signed to the practice squad. Williams, a seventh-round pick last year, has gone back and forth between the practice squad and 53-man roster over the last couple of seasons;

and DL Ron Brace was cut. Brace, a Massachusetts native and Boston College product who was a second-round pick in 2009, had struggled with injuries. He played in 10 games this year but was inactive for five.

The Patriots drafted four players in the second round in 2009 (they did not have a first round pick), and Darius Butler and now Brace has been released from that quartet, and Patrick Chung has yet to establish himself as a standout safety. Only Sebastian Vollmer, a second-team All-Pro two years ago, is a top-level player at his position.

Vollmer, Chung, Julian Edelman (on injured reserve) and Myron Pryor (on physically unable to perform list) are the only players still on the roster from the 12-player '09 draft class.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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