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New England Patriots practice squad 2021: New additions, signings and rumors

New England Patriots v New York Giants
New England Patriots v New York Giants
Bethany Cohen

The New England Patriots didn't make the playoffs last season and it's very clear they don't want to go down that road in 2021. The Patriots were one of the biggest participants in free agency, made significant moves in the NFL draft, and have continued to do so this summer.

Naming rookie quarterback Mac Jones the starter and releasing former NFL MVP Cam Newton was the biggest move of the week. The Patriots will also be without cornerback Stephon Gilmore for at least six weeks as he starts the season on the PUP list.

New England Patriots practice squad signings

With an expanded practice squad that now allows 16 players, the New England Patriots signed the following players to the practice squad:

Quarterbacks

The Patriots released veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer earlier in the week and then re-signed him to the practice squad. The Patriots also signed former Dallas Cowboys backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad.

With Jarrett Stidham starting the season on the PUP list, Jones is the only quarterback on the starting roster, meaning either Hoyer or Gilbert will be promoted to the active roster come Week 1.

Wide Receiver, Tight End and Fullback

The Patriots re-signed rookie wide receiver Tre Nixon as well as 2020 undrafted wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson to the practice squad. With N'Keal Harry starting the season on the IR, additional receivers will be necessary.

Fullback Ben Mason, the Baltimore Ravens' fifth-round pick who was released earlier in the week, was signed to the Patriots' practice squad. Mason has a lot of potential and the Patriots may activate him at some point.

Tight end Matt LaCosse signed with the Patriots in 2019 and then opted out last season. LaCosse now has another opportunity with New England after signing with the practice squad.

Offensive Line

For additional depth on the offensive line, the Patriots signed Will Sherman, James Ferentz and Alex Redmond.

Defense

The Patriots signed LB Jahlani Tavia, who was released by the Detroit Lions this week. Tavai has struggled to stay healthy in his first two seasons in the NFL. Defensive end Tashawn Bower, who has spent the better part of the last two seasons with the Patriots, was also re-signed to the practice squad.

Myles Bryant, who can play both at both safety and corner, signed with the Patriots' practice squad last season and was activated to the active roster. He was released before the 53-man roster was finalized and is now a member of the practice squad.

Kicker

The New England Patriots had a kicking competition throughout training camp and the undrafted rookie kicker out of Michigan Quinn Nordin beat out veteran Nick Folk for the starting job. The Patriots have now signed Folk to the practice squad, which may indicate that the team could make a move at any time.


Edited by Colin D'Cunha

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