Despite playing arguably their most complete game of the year on Sunday night, the New England Patriots decided to make some changes to their roster. After reportedly (but not yet officially) signing former second-round pick Obi Melifonwu yesterday, the team will apparently add another free agent defender to its 53-man squad today: according to The Atheltic’s Jeff Zrebiec, New England is expected to sign linebacker Albert McClellan.
McClellan originally entered the NFL in 2010 as an undrafted rookie signing by the Baltimore Ravens. After a de-facto redshirt season, the Marshall product established himself as a core special teamer and valuable backup at linebacker. In this role, he appeared in a combined 98 games for the team before missing all of 2017 due to a torn ACL. McClellan returned this offseason but was unable to make an impact.
The 32-year old was released by the Ravens during early September’s roster cuts but brought back two weeks later. He appeared in six games after re-joining the team: McClellan played 6.2% of Baltimore’s defensive snaps (registering one tackle), an a whooping 84.2% in the kicking game (two tackles). However, when the team acquired Ty Montgomery via trade last week, it decided to cut McClellan once more.
With McClellan and the aforementioned Melifonwu being brought, the Patriots will have to make two corresponding roster moves. Who will fall victim to the acquisitions? The most likely candidates appear to be linebacker Nicholas Grigsby, tight end Jacob Hollister, and offensive lineman Brian Schwenke as all three are nursing injuries and might get moved to injured reserve. Furthermore, offensive lineman James Ferentz might get released again.
One transaction that has already been made official by the Patriots is the signing of linebacker Ufomba Kamalu to the practice squad. The 26-year old, who started his career as an undrafted free agent signing by the Houston Texans and also spent time during the offseason with the Arizona Cardinals, will fill the vacant spot created when James Ferentz was promoted to the active roster last Saturday.
Over the course of his career, Kamalu appeared in 13 NFL games (all for the Texans) as a situational edge rusher and part-time special teamer. In this role, the 6’6, 295 lbs defender registered 3.0 sacks and 4 quarterback hits as well as a combined 11 tackles.