Adding depth up front, the Green Bay Packers have signed veteran offensive tackle Barrett Brooks as a free agent, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Thursday.
To make room for Brooks, a seventh-year professional, running back Rondell Mealey has been placed on waivers.
In an internal personnel move, Sherman also announced that linebacker Torrance Marshall has been moved to fullback and henceforth will wear jersey number 41.
Brooks, 6-5 and 314 pounds, has played in 95 career games, including a streak of 88 consecutive games to begin his NFL career, and started 62.
Originally a second-round draft selection by Philadelphia in 1995, he started 45 games over his first three seasons. Brooks also played in all 16 games for the Eagles in 1998, with one start. An unconditional free agent in 1999, he signed with Detroit and played in 31 games for the Lions over the '99 and 2000 seasons, with 12 starts in the former and four in the latter. Again a free agent in 2001, he signed with Cleveland July 30 and after going through training camp with the Browns, was waived in the team's final roster cutdown September 2 and was out of football for the '01 regular season. He signed with Denver as a free agent on March 15, 2002, and subsequently was waived September 1 when the Broncos made their final squad reduction for the regular season.
Brooks will wear number 77, his career number. On the Packers' roster, it recently had been worn by tackle Kris Farris, a member of the practice squad, who has been reassigned to number 79.
Mealey, a third-year pro, was the Packers' third-leading rusher with 36 yards and 1 touchdown on 11 attempts. He also had 7 pass receptions for 45 yards to rank fifth on the team and had a two-yard scoring run among a career-high 30 yards rushing on 5 attempts against Atlanta in the team's season opener.
The 25-year-old Mealey was a seventh-round draft selection out of LSU (the 252nd player chosen) in the 2000 NFL draft. He missed his rookie season because of a knee injury and saw his second season limited to 11 games in 2001 after suffering a cracked fibula in a game at Jacksonville December 3.