A busy day for the New England Patriots continues. After replacing third-string quarterback Matt Flynn with Ryan Lindley and trading linebacker Matt Wells for the Chicago Bears' guard Ryan Groy (not official yet), the team announces four more transactions.
According to a Patriots press release, the team has signed running back Tony Creecy and tight end Logan Stokes, and released linebacker Chris White and tight end Mason Brodine to make room for the newest members of the team. The team has to say the following about the four players:
Creecy, 23, compiled 1,265 rushing yards on 324 attempts and nine touchdowns over four seasons at North Carolina State. The 6-foot, 200-pounder also caught 75 passes for 428 yards and six touchdowns for the Wolfpack.
Creecy joins a running back group that has been bitten by the injury bug as of late, with LeGarrette Blount, Travaris Cadet, Tyler Gaffney and Dion Lewis all missing practice sessions recently. The 23-year old is a longshot to make the roster but offers valuable depth at a physical position at least until the injured players return.
Stokes, 22, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent from Louisiana State on June 11, 2015, and released by the Patriots on June 18, 105. He began his college career at Northeast Mississippi Community College for two seasons (2011-12) before transferring to LSU for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. The 6-foot-5, 255-pounder, was utilized mainly as a blocking tight end during his time at LSU. He played in 13 games last season and caught his only reception on a three-yard touchdown pass in LSU’s 10-7 win over Ole Miss.
Stokes basically replaces Mason Brodine on the Patriots' roster and offers the team another depth option at tight end. With Scott Chandler missing the last three practice sessions due to injury, depth behind undisputed starter Rob Gronkowski was needed to give the All-Pro some deserved rest every now and then. Stokes joins Michael Hoomanawanui, Jake Bequette and Jimmay Mundine as the players fighting for most likely one spot on the roster. Safe to say, Stokes is not exactly the favorite to win this battle.
Brodine, 27, was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 6, 2015. The 6-foot-7, 270-pounder, originally signed with the Oakland Raiders as a rookie free agent out of Nebraska-Kearny on July 31, 2011. He was released by Oakland at the end of training camp and signed to the practice squad. Brodine was signed to the 53-man roster by Oakland on Dec. 18 and played in two games. Brodine was released by the Raiders at the end of training camp in 2012 and was claimed off waivers by the St. Louis Rams. He spent the 2012 and the 2013 seasons on the St. Louis practice squad. Brodine went to training camp with St. Louis last season but suffered an injury during training camp and spent the season on injured reserve.
The Mason Brodine era ends after just four days. His release doesn't come as a surprise as he has been on the bottom of the Patriots' tight end depth chart since he arrived.
White, 26, has spent the last two seasons with New England after originally joining the team in 2013 when he was claimed off waivers and awarded to the Patriots from Detroit on Sept. 1, 2013. The 6-foot-3, 238-pounder, entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick (169th overall) by Buffalo out of Mississippi State in 2011. He was traded by Buffalo to Detroit in a trade for QB Thad Lewis on Aug. 25, 2013. White was released by Detroit on Aug. 31, 2013. Last season, White played in 13 games and finished with nine special teams tackles. He played in all three postseason games and tallied four special teams tackles.
The most surprising of the four moves. White, who has spent training camp thus far on the Physically Unable to Perform list, has been a core special teams player for the Patriots the last two seasons but rarely saw the field on defense. His release opens the door for other depth linebackers to potentially take advantage of this situation and improve their standing on the team's roster.