On August 15th, the New England Patriots placed safety Brock Vereen on the team’s retired/reserve list.
On August 16th, Vereen was reinstated and subsequently released by the Patriots.
On August 16th, the Kansas City Chiefs claimed Vereen on waivers.
It was a bizarre stretch of time that confused pretty much everyone. ESPN’s Mike Reiss did some digging and found some information about what happened.
“As I understand it...Vereen never intended to retire and did not sign any official retirement paperwork, but he was initially placed on the reserve/retired list after having a conversation with a club official about his role and/or future with the team,” Reiss shared in his Sunday notes. “The next day, the club removed the reserve/retired designation and waived Vereen outright, with the sides basically agreeing to mutually part ways.”
So, from what I gather, Vereen had a conversation with the front office where he reasonably expressed concern about his future with the team...and then the team took that as him retiring?
I understand Vereen’s side because he knew he wasn’t going to make it through the Patriots stacked depth chart. He was behind Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards, Nate Ebner, and Brandon King. I totally understand Vereen asking for a release so he could join a team where he would have better odds of winning a roster spot.
But I don’t really know what conversation could have taken place where the Patriots thought Vereen wanted to retire, without those words expressly coming up. Maybe he said he wanted to take a break? That he wasn’t sure if he wanted to play anymore?
I would love to find out that the Patriots accidentally checked the wrong box on the “release” form when submitting the move to the league. Like, instead of checking “release” or “release/injury reserve” they checked off “release/retire” and the intern just filed it with the league.
But whatever conversation took place, the two sides were happy to go their own ways.
Check out the rest of Reiss’ notes here.