The New England Patriots are in the middle of a mini bye but that does not mean the team is not busy. After releasing cornerback and punt returner Cyrus Jones from its active roster on Saturday, the team reportedly made three more moves today – all in relation to its practice squad. Let’s take a look at them:
Signed: LB Calvin Munson
Calvin Munson originally entered the NFL in 2017, when the New York Giants signed him as an undrafted free agent. The San Diego State product was not only able to make the team’s 53-man roster, he also carved out a role on defense and special teams: Munson appeared in 14 games during his rookie season and served as New York’s number three linebacker and a core special teamer. However, the 23-year old failed to build on his encouraging first year in the league and after a stint on the Giants’ practice squad to open the 2018 season was released.
Released: RB Ralph Webb
Following a record-setting career at Vanderbilt, the Patriots signed Ralph Webb as an undrafted rookie shortly after the draft. Joining a deep offensive backfield, he was seen as a longshot to make the team but a potential practice squad candidate – which is exactly what happened. After registering 31 rushing attempts for 102 yards and a pair of touchdowns in preseason, as well as five receptions for 28 yards and another score, Webb was let go during final roster cutdowns but quickly re-signed to New England’s scout team.
Released: DT Vincent Valentine
A third-round selection in 2016, Vincent Valentine flashed plenty of potential during his rookie season. However, he was unable to build on it after being forced to spend all of his second NFL season on injured reserve due to a lingering knee issue. Valentine returned to the field this offseason but was quiet all summer long, which led to his release during final cuts. New England was able to sign him to its practice squad but has now opted to release the 24-year old again.
The moves create another open spot on New England’s practice squad – one that could be filled by the aforementioned Cyrus Jones – while simultaneously further thinning out the team’s running back depth: with Webb gone, the Patriots now only have two running backs left under contract in first-round rookie Sony Michel and veteran James White . Don’t be surprised if the team makes a transaction soon to add another back.
All in all, today’s transactions leave the Patriots with eight players on the practice squad at the moment:
TE Stephen Anderson
QB Danny Etling
OL James Ferentz
DT Trent Harris
DB David Jones
LB Calvin Munson
OT Eric Smith
CB Jomal Wiltz
[UPDATE 10/08, 3:37 p.m. ET] As first reported by NESN’s Doug Kyed, it looks as if defensive tackle Frank Herron has also joined New England’s practice squad. The LSU product joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent this offseason but was unable to make the team’s deep defensive tackle group. Following a stint on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad, he is now back to essentially replace Valentine’s role on the team.