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How many former Patriots reside around the NFL? ‘Whatever the number is, it’s a lot’

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As of Week 12, 99 ex-Patriots sit on active rosters, practice squads and IR lists around the league.

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

“There’s, like, 70-something guys in the league that have been here that are playing for somebody else.”

Bill Belichick’s rough estimation in his Friday press conference wasn’t that rough at all.

As of Nov. 24, 71 former New England Patriots players reside on 53-man rosters around the rest of the NFL. Another 16 find themselves on practice squads, while 12 more find themselves on injured reserve.

All totaled, that number sits at 99.

“I don't know. Whatever the number is, it's a lot,” said the Patriots head coach. “Seventy to 90, somewhere in there depending on how you want to count the practice squad players and today’s waiver wire versus yesterday's waiver wire. There's a lot of guys out there. It's one of the highest numbers in the league. There's a lot of guys out there.”

Back in May, when rosters stood at 90 apiece, there were as many as 91 guys out there under contract with the other 31 teams. Much has transpired since then, with some, like quarterback Brian Hoyer and tight end Martellus Bennett, returning to Foxborough. And others, like Jacoby Brissett, Jimmy Garoppolo and cornerback Justin Coleman, departing via trade.

It’s a constant state of recycling. That was seen as four players waived by New England on Labor Day weekend ended up being claimed that Sunday. It was seen as Cassius Marsh was, too, last week.

But Belichick’s overarching point remains.

“I think we have more players that are playing on other teams,” he said. “I don't know if we're the highest. We're one of the highest, I can tell you that. I think we're up there pretty high. It depends on how you want to count them – starters, roster players, IR, practice squad.

“You can run all of the lists that you run and count them up however you want to count them up,” added Belichick. “However you want to count them up, I think we'll be up there pretty high. Let's call it 90 players – there are [31] teams – that's three per team. We can talk about that every week, but we won't.”

Belichick’s subtle suggestion, as well as Miguel Benzan of PatsCap and Boston Sports Journal’s, left one curious.

So, let’s go ahead and re-tally the onetime Patriots by their present organization.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS – 11

  • 53: Kamar Aiken, Jon Bostic, Jacoby Brissett, Darius Butler, Rashaan Melvin, Barkevious Mingo, Jabaal Sheard, Adam Vinatieri, Kenny Moore
  • Practice squad: Anthony Johnson
  • Injured reserve: George Winn

The Patriots and Colts have swung two trades since March after having gone without one since 1985. That’s, in no small part, first-year general manager Chris Ballard’s doing. He had an NFL-high eight former Patriots in Indianapolis when last checked six months back. Brissett, Moore, Johnson and Winn have since been brought into the fold in one capacity or another.

NEW YORK GIANTS – 8

  • 53: Akeem Ayers, Jonathan Casillas, Deontae Skinner, Jon Halapio, Robert Thomas, Shane Vereen
  • Practice squad: Trevor Bates, Brandon Dixon
  • Injured reserve: none

The 2014 Patriots’ linebacker room included Ayers, Casillas and Skinner. Now all three Super Bowl XLIX champions are reconvening in East Rutherford, with Ayers having signed on two weeks ago. Bates, another familiar face at linebacker, spent New England’s Super Bowl LI season on the practice squad.

BUFFALO BILLS – 7

  • 53: Travaris Cadet, Ryan Groy, Andre Holmes, Ramon Humber, Leonard Johnson, Conor McDermott, Brandon Tate
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

A couple former Patriots draft picks in McDermott and Tate are in Buffalo these days. And Cadet, Groy, Humber and Johnson made stops in New England between the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – 7

  • 53: Jimmy Garoppolo, Cassius Marsh, Robbie Gould, Dekoda Watson
  • Practice squad: DeAndre Carter
  • Injured reserve: Chris Jones, Don Jones

Niners GM John Lynch, briefly a Patriot himself, has acquired two ex-Patriots over the past month, trading a second-rounder for Garoppolo at the deadline and then claiming Marsh off waivers this past week.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – 6

  • 53: Austin Carr, Michael Hoomanawanui, John Hughes, Sterling Moore
  • Practice squad: Woodrow Hamilton
  • Injured reserve: Clay Harbor

New Orleans claimed Carr, an undrafted rookie wideout from Northwestern, as rosters went from 90 to 53. Hamilton, Harbor and Hughes are others who made stops in New England over the course of the past year-and-a-half.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – 4

  • 53: LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Kamu Grugier-Hill
  • Practice squad: D.J. Killings
  • Injured reserve: none

Grugier-Hill, a 2016 sixth-rounder, is the longest-tenured former Patriot in Philadelphia. Blount and Long, of course, packed some rings along with them over the offseason.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – 4

  • 53: James O’Shaughnessy
  • Practice squad: Darius Kilgo, Brooks Ellis
  • Injured reserve: Tyler Gaffney

Jacksonville had zero former Patriots in the mix during the spring. But the Jaguars now have four. Most notable is O’Shaughnessy, who was acquired by New England during the day three of draft and was ultimately claimed off waivers by Jacksonville during the cut to 53.

CLEVELAND BROWNS – 4

  • 53: Charley Hughlett, Matt Lengel
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: Jamie Collins, Chris Barker

Thirteen months have passed since Collins, now on IR, headed to Cleveland via trade. Barker and Lengel have joined the Browns since then.

CAROLINA PANTHERS – 4

  • 53: Garrett Gilbert, Kyle Love
  • Practice squad: Zach Moore, Blaine Clausell
  • Injured reserve: none

In 2014, the Patriots made Moore the first-ever draft selection out of Concordia-St. Paul. The defensive lineman now sits alongside Clausell, briefly a member of New England’s practice squad in 2015, on Carolina’s.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS – 3

  • 53: L.J. Fort, Xavier Grimble, Mike Hilton
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Fort, Grimble and Hilton all saw their cups of coffee in New England last between a couple days and a couple weeks. All three check in on Pittsburgh’s active roster these days.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS – 3

  • 53: Darrelle Revis, Jordan Devey
  • Practice squad: Devin Lucien
  • Injured reserve: none

With the Revis signing hitting the wire on Thanksgiving eve, there’s a trio of former Patriots now in Kansas City. Lucien, a 2016 seventh-round pick, reached an injury settlement with New England earlier this season.

BALTIMORE RAVENS – 3

  • 53: Ryan Mallett, Benjamin Watson, Danny Woodhead
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Former Patriots first- and third-rounders in Watson and Mallett are still kicking in Baltimore, as is Woodhead, who was activated from injured reserve earlier this November.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – 3

  • 53: Justin Coleman, Tyler Ott
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: Dewey McDonald

On Sept. 1, Seattle sent a 2018 seventh-round draft choice to New England in exchange for Coleman, whom the Patriots once signed off the Seahawks’ practice squad in 2015. That seventh-rounder New England received in return was later used in the Marsh trade.

CHICAGO BEARS – 3

  • 53: Akiem Hicks, Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Practice squad: Demarcus Ayers
  • Injured reserve: none

The Bears claimed LeBlanc off waivers in the summer of 2016 after the Florida Atlantic product enjoyed a productive rookie preseason in New England. He’s since made 10 starts for Chicago’s defense. It’s been hard to overlook the fact Hicks has made all 26.

DALLAS COWBOYS – 3

  • 53: Jonathan Cooper
  • Practice squad: Trey Williams, Joe Vellano
  • Injured reserve: none

Old friend Joe Vellano joined the Cowboys’ practice squad earlier this month, bringing the list of former Patriots in Dallas to three. Neither Williams nor Cooper appeared in a regular-season game for New England.

TENNESSEE TITANS – 3

  • 53: Logan Ryan, Matt Cassel, Josh Kline
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Ryan has started every game in the Tennessee secondary this season after inking a three-year, $30 million pact as the new league year opened. Kline, meanwhile, has started 24 games along the Titans’ offensive line over the last two seasons.

DENVER BRONCOS – 3

  • 53: Aqib Talib, Austin Traylor
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: AJ Derby

A year after trading for Derby, the Broncos waived-injured the 2015 Patriots draft pick this month and promoted a fellow ex-Pats tight end, Traylor, from the practice squad.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS – 2

  • 53: LeShun Daniels, A.J. Francis
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Daniels, an undrafted Patriots signing out of Iowa in April, was promoted from Washington’s practice squad this past week.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – 2

  • 53: none
  • Practice squad: Cole Toner
  • Injured reserve: Asante Cleveland

The Patriots traded for Cleveland ahead of the 2015 season, and Toner, a Harvard grad, had a brief stint on New England’s practice squad earlier this season.

LOS ANGELES RAMS – 2

  • 53: Troy Hill
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: Dominique Easley

Easley, the Patriots’ first selection in the 2014 draft, suffered his third torn ACL this August and reverted to the Rams’ injured reserve after clearing waivers.

ARIZONA CARDINALS – 2

  • 53: D.J. Foster, Chandler Jones
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Alongside Jones in Arizona is Foster, whom the Cardinals signed off the Patriots’ practice squad in September. Foster has seen action in one contest for Arizona, catching two passes for 26 yards in Week 11.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS – 2

  • 53: Michael Floyd
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: Bishop Sankey

Floyd signed with Minnesota in May after appearing in two games – scoring a touchdown and delivering a de-cleating block – with the Patriots to close 2016.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – 2

  • 53: Robert McClain, Sealver Siliga
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

A pair of names from Patriots past have worked their way into Buccaneers’ defense in McClain and Siliga. The latter started 13 regular-season games for New England, as well as Super Bowl XLIX.

NEW YORK JETS – 2

  • 53: Kony Ealy, Darryl Roberts
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Roberts, a Patriots seventh-rounder in 2015, was claimed off waivers by New York in 2016. And Ealy, whom New England acquired in an eight-pick trade-down with Carolina this March, was claimed by the Jets before the start of 2017.

DETROIT LIONS – 1

  • 53: Tavon Wilson
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Former Patriots director of pro scouting Bob Quinn has seen his cabinet of former Patriots shrivel to one. Wilson, a 2012 second-round pick of New England’s, spent four years with the team that drafted him before moving on.

MIAMI DOLPHINS – 1

  • 53: Ted Larsen
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

After Trevor Reilly’s release from the practice squad in October, Larsen is the lone ex-Patriot left in Miami. The 30-year-old center was part of New England’s 2010 draft class.

ATLANTA FALCONS – 1

  • 53: none
  • Practice squad: Jamil Douglas
  • Injured reserve: none

Douglas spent last campaign on New England’s practice squad and joined Atlanta’s upon going unclaimed at the start of this campaign.

OAKLAND RAIDERS – 1

  • 53: Lee Smith
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Regarded as one of the better blocking tight ends in the league, Smith first entered it as a Patriots fifth-round choice in 2011.

HOUSTON TEXANS – 1

  • 53: Angelo Blackson
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Houston, who had no former Patriots on the roster in May, despite an array of ties on the coaching staff, signed Blackson off New England’s practice squad this November.

CINCINNATI BENGALS – 1

  • 53: Brandon LaFell
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

LaFell has caught 99 passes for 1,202 yards and eight touchdowns since joining Cincinnati to begin the 2016 season. He caught 111 passes during his two years in New England, and posted career-highs in 2014.

GREEN BAY PACKERS – 0

  • 53: none
  • Practice squad: none
  • Injured reserve: none

Then there’s Green Bay. Ted Thompson’s Packers had a former Patriot on the team earlier this season. That former Patriot, though, is now once again a current one.

Which means, as of Week 12, 99 familiar names are disbursed around the league. The Colts, Giants, Bills and 49ers have the most. The Lions, Dolphins, Falcons, Raiders, Texans and Bengals have one. And the Packers have none.

So, no matter how long or short their stays in Foxborough were, as Belichick said, “it’s a lot.”