After waiving guard Chase Farris with a non-football injury designation last week and the unexpected retirement of veteran wide receiver Andrew Hawkins on Tuesday, the New England Patriots were heading towards training camp with two open spots on their 90-man offseason roster.
One of the vacancies was filled yesterday, when the team signed undrafted rookie defensive edge Caleb Kidder. The final open spot was filled earlier today: As the team announced, it has signed free agent wide receiver Tony Washington.
The 26-year old originally entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie out of Appalachian State in 2014. He was signed by the Indianapolis Colts but released during roster cutdowns. The Jacksonville Jaguars picked the 5'11, 200 lbs up and signed him to their practice squad. Washington spent his entire rookie campaign on the Jaguars' scout team and was signed to a futures contract following the season.
In 2015, Washington saw his first game action in Jacksonville. Over the next two seasons, he appeared in six games catching one pass for nine yards while also carrying the ball one time for an additional eight yards. However, he was also placed on injured reserve in both 2015 and 2016 (although last season he came back after signing an injury settlement).
All in all, it would be a surprise to see Washington have an impact in New England given a) his past production and b) the depth team has at the wide receiver positions. In short: Washington – at least as of right now – looks primarily like a camp body.
In unrelated news: The Patriots have assigned a jersey number to yesterday's signing, the above-mentioned rookie defensive edge Caleb Kidder. The Montana product will wear number 64.