McGowan signs with Pats 

The New England Patriots have signed safety Brandon McGowan, who became an unrestricted free agent after four seasons with the Chicago Bears. McGowan missed most of the 2008 season with an ankle injury. Hewas signed by Chicago in 2005 as a rookie free agent out of Maine,and appeared in a total of 25 games with 13 starts for the Bears. Also on Tuesday, the Patriots released punter Tom Malone, whohad stints on the team’s practice squad in 2006 and 2008.