Training camp is here! The NFL's most quiet period has come to an end as the New England Patriots have started this year's camp earlier this week. The 88 players currently under contract are now in the process of fighting for spots on either the team's 53-man roster or its 10-man practice squad.
As we have done throughout the offseason, we will continue to take a look at the men fighting for those few select spots on the 2017 Patriots – and to find out who will and might be asked to help the team defend its Super Bowl title.
Today, we will continue the series with the latest Patriots signing.
Name: Tony Washington
Position: Wide receiver
Jersey number: 17
Opening day age: 26
Size: 5'11, 200 lbs.
2016 review: After already ending his 2015 season on injured reserve due to a quad injury, Tony Washington's 2016 campaign did not start with better injury luck: During final roster cutdowns, the Jacksonville Jaguars waived the Appalachian State product with an injury designation due to a hamstring injury. Washington went unclaimed and reverted to the team's injured reserve.
Only one week later, the Jaguars released the wide out and special teamer with an injury settlement. After remaining on the open market for two months, Washington re-signed with Jacksonville's practice squad in early November. Before the team's week 16 game against the Tennessee Titans, he was activated to the active roster and appeared in the Jaguars' final two games.
Overall, Washington played 27 snaps on offense and 17 on special teams finishing his third NFL season with one catch for nine yards. Following the draft, however, he was released yet again.
2017 preview: On Thursday, their first day of training camp practices, the Patriots announced bringing Tony Washington on board. The 26-year old is projected to serve as a rotational depth option at wide receiver and in the kicking game but realistically appears to be a long-shot to make the Patriots' 53-man roster or the team's practice squad.
After all, the roster spots are all in the safe hands of established veterans while New England has higher-upside wideouts – Austin Carr, Devin Lucien, Cody Hollister – all fighting for a place on the 10-man practice squad. And while having camp bodies like Washington certainly is valuable, it would be a surprise to ultimately see him survive roster cuts.