Obi Melifonwu is still a ways away from partaking in full team drills. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
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Safety Obi Melifonwu, a second-round pick by the Raiders who was waived by Oakland on Oct. 23, has been signed by the New England Patriots, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Melifonwu, who played collegiately for Connecticut and went No. 56 to the Raiders in the 2017 draft, played five games last season, one as a starter. He was placed on injured reserve last December with a hip injury. He was waived on Aug. 23 to clear a roster spot for veteran Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and then was restored to IR.

The Raiders waived him for good on Oct. 23. One week later, Rodgers-Cromartie, who had replaced Melinfonwu on the roster, announced his retirement via Instagram after playing seven games for Oakland.

The Patriots are expected to use Melifonwu, who exhibited a vertical leap of 44 inches at the NFL Scouting Combine, to back up safeties Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung and Duron Harmon.

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