We have entered the deepest depths of the NFL offseason. Free agency and the draft are behind us, while minicamp and training camp won't start until early June and late July, respectively. However, while the football world seemingly turns slower these days it does not stop.
After all, until the late-August's roster cuts, players need to have secured their spots on the team. Over the course of the next few months, we will take a look at the men fighting for them on the 2017 New England Patriots. 53 of currently 90 players will be asked to help the team defend its Super Bowl title.
Today, we’ll continue the series with the team’s latest signing.
Name: DeAndrew White
Position: Wide receiver
Jersey number: 17
Opening day age: 25
Size: 6’0, 190 lbs.
2016 review: Before joining the Patriots, White spent the entire 2016 offseason with the the San Francisco 49ers. During training camp and preseason – he appeared in all four games and caught five passes for 65 yards –, the former undrafted rookie failed to make an impression, though, and was released on September 3rd.
11 days after his release, the Patriots signed White to their practice squad on. He would go on to spend the rest of the season there but was still able to make a positive impact: Six times, he was named "practice player of the week" by the team's coaching staff; only two other players were recognized more often.
Despite that, the team did not offer him a futures contract after the season concluded. Instead, White remained an unrestricted free agent until two days ago, when the Patriots re-signed him.
2017 preview: When the 25-year old was brought back on Monday, he joined a stacked wide receiver corps: New England currently has 11 wideouts under contract and the top of the depth chart appears set. Julian Edelman, Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell, as well as core special teamer Matthew Slater, are all locks to make the 53-man roster.
Consequently, White and the rest of the wide receiver group appear to be fighting for at best two spots on the Patriots' practice squad. Having spent almost an entire season with the team, he brings more experience to the table than all but one – Devin Lucien – of his competitiors. Whether that is enough to beat out higher-ceiling options like undrafted rookie Austin Carr is doubtful, though.
It would therefore not be a surprise if White's tenure in New England finds an end this summer.