The mandatory phase of the New England Patriots' offseason workouts is over – at least until training camp starts in late July – and we have re-entered the quieter parts of the NFL calendar.
However, while the football world seemingly turns slower these days it does not stop. After all, by late August, each team has to start making its roster cuts. Until then, players have to secure their spots on the team; they need to do their jobs (well) or someone else will.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we will take a look at the men fighting for those spots on the 2016 New England Patriots. Today, we'll take a look at free safety Cedric Thompson.
Name: Cedric Thompson
Position: Free safety
Jersey number: 41
Size: 6'0, 210 lbs.
2015 review: After a four year college career with the Minnesota Golden Gophers, the Miami Dolphins selected Cedric Thompson in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft (pick 150). He spent his entire summer with the Dolphins but was eventually released in early September. Two days later, he was signed to the team’s practice squad.
Thompson spent his entire rookie campaign on Miami’s practice squad but was not offered a futures contract once the team’s season ended. Therefore, on January 11, Thompson became a free agent. The very next day, the Patriots added him to their own practice squad.
On January 25, after New England’s season ended, Thompson was signed to a reserve/futures contract by the team.
2016 preview: The Patriots have a deep and talented safety corps, and Cedric Thompson currently sits at the bottom of it. His best chance of getting higher up in the pecking order is having a good training camp not only on defense but on special teams as well.
Still, his chances of making New England’s 53-man roster do not look very good. Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon and Jordan Richards are all locks or near-locks to make the team, while fellow safeties Nate Ebner and Brandon King are core special teamers.
The Patriots likely won’t carry more than six safeties so unless a player gets injured or traded, Thompson’s prospects in Foxboro might be limited to the practice squad. Of course, with spots limited, he still has to show the coaching staff that he is worth keeping around.
Due to the Patriots’ depth at the safety position, second-year man Cedric Thompson faces an uphill climb to earn a roster spot. While he could surprise and earn himself a role on the team it is far more likely that he will either end up on the practice squad or on the free agent market.