Even though the NFL's cutdown weekend has come and gone, the New England Patriots are still busy working on their roster and practice squad. Yesterday alone, the team has made multiple transactions – one of which included a practice squad signing and two releases.
First, the Patriots signed defensive end Angelo Blackson to their practice squad.
Blackson will fill the 10th spot that has been vacant since the formation of the practice squad on Sunday. The 24-year old started his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft. However, even though the Auburn product appeared in 29 games for the team the last two seasons, he was unable to make it through the team's final round of roster cuts.
With the addition of Blackson, New England's practice squad now looks as follows:
WR Demarcus Ayers
LB Trevor Bates
DE Angelo Blackson
OC James Ferentz
RB D.J. Foster
DE Geneo Grissom
WR Cody Hollister
FS David Jones
OG Ted Karras
FS Damarius Travis
Don't get used to this list, however, as it will likely see a change today. After all, the Patriots had a second new and still unaccounted player at practice yesterday: guard Willie Beaver, who was not listed on the NFL transaction wire yesterday evening. It is expected that he will offically join the practice squad later today as well, which in turn means that one of the men listed above will have to be let go again.
As mentioned above, the Patriots have also released a pair of players: defensive linemen Woodrow Hamilton and Corey Vereen have been waived off injured reserve with injury settlements. This means that both are free agents now but still get paid by New England for an agreed upon period of time. However, they are unable to sign with other teams until after this period is over and the Patriots' payments have stopped.
At that point, a player is considered healthy again (the settlement period is set on how long a player is projected to be out due to his injury) and becomes a regular free agent – one, that is free to sign with any team's active roster or practice squad. The settlement therefore gives them an opportunity to return to the field earlier than a stint on injured reserve likely would have.
Vereen, an undrafted rookie out of Tennessee tore his ACL in June and was subsequently waived and reverted to the Patriots' injured reserve list – the first player this season to be placed there. Hamilton joined Vereen on Sunday. The second-year man, who appeared in two games for the Patriots last season, was released with an injury designation and also moved to injured reserve.
Due to the settlement, both men could theoretically play in the NFL again later this season. And in case they ultimately end up spending more than three weeks on an active team's roster, their 2017 campaigns will become accredited by the NFL and increase their future minimal salaries. Agreeing to a settlement therefore makes sense for both parties involved.