FOXBORO, Mass. (AP) _ Kevin Faulk, who could emerge as the Patriots' starting running back, and two other draft picks signed Wednesday with New England.

To clear salary cap room, the Patriots terminated the final year of the contract of Willie Clay, their starting free safety the last three years. That money would be needed to pay the two remaining unsigned Patriots picks, Boston College center Damien Woody and Ohio State linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer, both first-rounders.

Besides Faulk, a second-round choice from LSU, the Patriots signed defensive back Tony George, a third-rounder from Florida, and offensive lineman Derrick Fletcher, a fifth-rounder from Baylor.

Faulk could replace Robert Edwards, who suffered a potential career-ending leg injury during a beach football game in Hawaii.

Faulk signed a five-year deal, while George and Katzenmoyer signed for three years each. Further details were not immediately available.

The Patriots have signed six of their eight draft picks.