Despite heading into their bye, the New England Patriots have had a busy week so far. Of course, the main reason for that is the team trading backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. However, the Patriots were busy on other fronts as well, one of them being free agency workouts. According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the team had two of them yesterday.
Let's take a look at who was brought in.
LB Jayrone Elliott
After going undrafted in 2014, Toledo product Jayrone Elliott was signed by the Green Bay Packers as a free agent. The 6'3, 240 lbs linebacker was able to make the team's roster and remained a part of the Packers' defense and special teams over the next three years. Overall, Elliott appeared in 38 games and registered 47 tackles, four sacks and an interception. In early September, the Carolina Panthers traded for the soon-to-be 26-year old but released him only two weeks later. Elliott has been a free agent since.
TE Gabe Holmes
Gabe Holmes also entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie, albeit one year later. The Purdue product was signed by the Oakland Raiders and spent the first two years of his career with the team – moving between the practice squad, active roster and injured reserve. In September, the 6'5, 255 lbs tight end was released by the Raiders and was first signed to the Seattle Seahawks' practice squad and later the Baltimore Ravens'. Holmes, who has yet to appear in an NFL game, was waived last week.
Neither Elliott nor Holmes should be expected to be signed to the Patriots' roster despite the linebacker and tight end positions being some of the weakest on the team and the New England currently having one open roster spot. What seems like a possibility is the Patriots adding Holmes to their practice squad, which saw one spot open up yesterday.
Also first reported by Mike Reiss and later confirmed by the NFL transaction wire was the fact that the Patriots lost defensive lineman Angelo Blackson to the Houston Texans today. The Texans signed the former fourth round draft pick (2015; selection #100) to its active roster today, after the 24-year old had spent the last two months on the Patriots' practice squad.
As a result of the move, the Patriots now have one open spot on their scout team. The team also creates salary cap space: According to patscap.com's Miguel Benzan, New England gains $135,000 because of it.