As the NFL transaction wire hit at 12 p.m. ET on Sept. 3, no team got hit harder than the New England Patriots.
Four players who were waived by New England at the 53-man roster deadline found themselves claimed that Sunday. The Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings were next up, having lost three apiece before practice squads could be formed, and seven other organizations lost two apiece.
But New England’s tally led the league.
Offensive tackle Conor McDermott became a Buffalo Bill, cornerback Kenny Moore II an Indianapolis Colt, tight end James O’Shaughnessy a Jacksonville Jaguar, and wide receiver Austin Carr a New Orleans Saint.
A month has passed since then. Let’s circle back on each at the quarter mark.
Kenny Moore II, Colts
Moore has appeared in all four games for a Colts team laden with names from Patriots past. The undrafted rookie cornerback out of Valdosta State recorded his first tackle on a punt return in the opener, and has continued to make his presence felt in the kicking game over recent weeks.
Last Sunday against Seattle, Moore, who’s served as the Colts’ left gunner, leaped up and saved a Rigoberto Sanchez punt from bouncing into the end zone for a touchback. It was downed by his teammate at the one-yard line in result.
The 5-foot-9, 179-pound Moore leads the Colts in special-teams snaps with 100 – followed by linebacker Barkevious Mingo, no less – and has stepped into the defensive backfield for an additional 13 reps. He has two tackles on his regular-season resume thus far.
Conor McDermott, Bills
McDermott now resides on another club in the AFC East after being selected No. 211 overall by the Patriots in April.
“He’s got high expectations coming in here – I told him that – with the last name,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said of the 6-foot-8, 307-pound UCLA product in his Sept. 4 press conference, via BuffaloBills.com. “He adds to that group nicely. Obviously he’s a young player, and position value is important in terms of the tackle position. Those positions are hard to find, [with] that type of body type and what he brings to the table with the skills in that area.”
McDermott stood among the inactives for the Bills’ first two games of the campaign, though he has been on the 46-man gameday roster for the last two. Buffalo has utilized the fourth and final pick of the Patriots’ 2017 draft exclusively on special teams to this juncture. McDermott has logged 14 snaps in the kicking game and none on offense.
James O’Shaughnessy, Jaguars
Six teams reportedly put in a claim on O’Shaughnessy after he was waived by the one that acquired him with a sixth-rounder in exchange for a fifth-rounder in April. The Jaguars’ was successful.
The ex-Kansas City Chiefs and Patriots tight end has since seen action in all four contests for Jacksonville. And, following a 2016 season in which he caught two passes for minus-one yards, he’s caught two passes for 30 yards from quarterback Blake Bortles thus far into 2017.
Special teams have remained the key for O’Shaughnessy on a depth chart manned by Marcedes Lewis and Ben Koyack. That was once thought to be his edge over rookie Jacob Hollister in New England, too. The 25-year-old via Illinois State has been on the field for 60 percent of Jacksonville’s plays in the third phase, and 18 percent of the offense’s.
Austin Carr, Saints
Carr put 14 catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns on film during the Patriots’ preseason. And the Saints put the rookie free-agent wideout on their shortlist by the time cutdown weekend rolled around.
“We felt like he was pretty advanced in his route running for a young player,” Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters on his Sept. 6 conference call, via NewOrleansSaints.com. “I thought he’s got real good balance, strong hands in traffic. We knew the player coming out of Northwestern, and he put together a real good preseason. Somebody that we kind of kept our eye on. You’re kind of down to the end there, and all of a sudden these roster moves are made and you’re evaluating all the tape. His was strong.”
Carr was a healthy scratch through New Orleans’ initial three games, missing an opportunity to make his debut against his former team in Week 2. The 23-year-old did, however, get the green light this past weekend in London as the Saints dressed five receivers. Carr stepped on for three offensive snaps and six special-teams snaps in what was a 20-0 victory over Miami.