The New England Patriots know the importance of depth: the team had a total of 11 players listed on its final practice report last week, with 12 more currently on an injury-related reserve list. On top of that, first-round rookie running back Sony Michel suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s game which will cost him some time and puts further pressure on the Patriots’ running back group.
Despite Michel hurting his knee, however, the team opted not to bring in any running backs during recent free agency workouts: among the eight players who were taken a look at according to ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, were four specialists, two linebackers, and two wide receivers – but nobody to potentially add depth to the offensive backfield. That being said, let’s take a look at the players worked out.
LS Jon Condo
Jon Condo’s NFL career originally started in 2005, when he joined the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted rookie. However, the Maryland product was released after only three games and via a stint on the Patriots’ 2006 offseason roster found his way to the Oakland Raiders. After spending his first season in Oakland on the team’s practice squad, Condo became the team’s number one long snapper in 2007 – a role he held until this year. Before not getting re-signed in March, the 37-year old appeared in 173 games for the club and was voted to the Pro Bowl twice.
K Andrew Franks
After going undrafted in 2015, Andrew Franks joined the Miami Dolphins and was able to win the team’s kicker job during his first NFL training camp. He had a solid rookie campaign during which he hit 83.3% of his field goal attempts and 91.7% on extra point tries, but did not show noticeable improvement in year two (76.2% on field goals, 97.6% on extra points). This summer, Franks lost his job to rookie Jason Sanders and was released in early September.
LB Terence Garvin
In his five years in the NFL, Terence Garvin moved around quite a bit: he spent his first three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers before joining the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks. The former undrafted free agent started 2018 with the Miami Dolphins before joining the San Francisco 49ers in mid-September. Primarily a special teamer, Garvin appeared in a combined 78 games over the course of his career.
LB Christian Kuntz
Like Jon Condo, Christian Kuntz also is no stranger to the Patriots: the 2017 undrafted free agent spent one day with the club last August before getting released again. An outside linebacker in Duquesne’s 3-4 scheme, Kuntz set school and conference records with 30.5 career sacks. Despite this, he was not selected during last year’s draft and originally signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Following his short stint in New England, Kuntz went on to join the Denver Broncos. He also has experience as a long snapper.
P Jeff Locke
A fifth-round pick out of UCLA, Jeff Locke beat out incumbent Chris Kluwe in his first training camp with the Minnesota Vikings and went on to serve as the team’s punter from 2013 to 2016. During his tenure with the Vikings, he attempted 295 punt for an average of 43.1 yards per kick. After leaving Minnesota following the 2016 season, Locke spent time with the Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions – for whom he appeared in five games – before joining the San Francisco 49ers this offseason.
WR Tanner McEvoy
One of the taller pass catchers in the NFL at 6’6, 230 lbs, Tanner McEvoy started his career with the Seattle Seahawks. In his two seasons with the club – 2016 and 2017 – the former undrafted free agent appeared in 31 games as a rotational wide receiver and special teamer: he caught 14 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns on offense, and registered four tackles, a forced fumble and a blocked punt in the kicking game. Despite his past productivity, however, McEvoy was let go by Seattle this summer. He spent some time with the New Orleans Saints (twice) and Miami Dolphins before hitting the open market again last week.
P Colton Schmidt
After bouncing around the league during his 2013 rookie season, Colton Schmidt found a permanent home in 2014 when he joined the Buffalo Bills. Over the next four seasons, he appeared in 65 games for the club and attempted 330 punts for an average of 44.1 yards per kick. However, the former undrafted free agents was let go by the Bills in early September after they claimed ex-Patriot Corey Bojorquez off the waiver wire.
WR DeAngelo Yancey
DeAngelo Yancey entered the league as a fifth-round draft pick by the Green Bay Packers in 2017. While his first NFL preseason was unspectacular – he caught three passes for 67 yards – the team signed him to its practice squad, on which the Purdue product spent his entire rookie campaign. After another quiet preseason in 2018, Yancey was released and signed to the Packers’ practice squad again. However, he was let go once more last week.
None of the eight players brought in for a workout should be seen as serious competition for players already on the roster. With injuries starting to pile up, however, it is a smart move to update some of the files and sort through potential emergency call-ups.