The New England Patriots are halfway through the 2018 regular season, but they are never done building their roster. The latest series of transactions is further proof of that. After yesterday’s signing of linebacker Ufomba Kamalu to the practice squad, the Patriots made six more transactions today according to reports by ESPN’s Field Yates and by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss. Let’s take a look at them.
DB Obi Melifonwu signed to the 53-man roster
The Patriots’ signing of Obi Melifonwu was already reported yesterday. The Connecticut product struggled with injuries during his first two seasons in the NFL and appeared in just five games since getting drafted in the second round by the Oakland Raiders in 2017. He was released by the team last week and visited New England shortly afterwards. Now, the 24-year old officially joins the team and will likely serve as a safety/linebacker hybrid in the mold of Patrick Chung and also see regular playing time on special teams — provided, of course, he can stay healthy.
LB Albert McClellan signed to the 53-man roster
Albert McClellan joining the Patriots was also reported yesterday. The 2010 undrafted free agent spent the first eight years of his career with the Baltimore Ravens as a core special teamer and valuable backup at linebacker. Coming off a torn ACL that cost him all of 2017, however, McClellan was unable to make an impact. After appearing in six games and playing 6.2% of Baltimore’s defensive snaps (registering one tackle), and 84.2% in the kicking game (two tackles), the Ravens decided to cut McClellan last week.
DE Geneo Grissom released off the 53-man roster
To make room for Melifonwu and McClellan, the Patriots parted ways with two linemen — one of which former third-round draft pick Geneo Grissom. The 26-year old primarily served as a special teamer since entering the NFL in 2015 and over the last two years regularly moved between New England’s active roster and practice squad. Grissom, who missed five games this year because of an ankle injury, is not eligible for the practice squad. It would not be a surprise, however, if he was a speed-dial emergency candidate.
OL Cole Croston released off the 53-man roster
The second player released from the active roster is versatile offensive lineman Cole Croston. The undrafted free agent made the team’s 53-man squad last year as a backup and appeared in three games in his first NFL season. However, Croston failed to take a leap in year two and was let go during early September’s roster cutdowns. He joined New England’s practice squad the next day and was promoted to the active roster again two weeks later. The 24-year old, who is eligible for the practice squad, appeared in two games over the last two months.
OL Brian Schwenke placed on injured reserve
The third player moved off the 53-man roster — and creating an open spot on it — is backup offensive lineman Brian Schwenke. The 27-year old joined the Patriots this offseason after spending the majority of his first five years in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. And even though he was released during roster cutdowns in early September, he re-joined the team just three days later. Since then he appeared in three games as a rotational depth option. However, Schwenke hurt his foot ahead of week eight and missed the last two games because of the injury.
RB Kenneth Farrow released off the practice squad
The final move saw New England create an open spot on the 10-man practice squad by releasing Kenneth Farrow. New England originally signed the former San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers running back late during the preseason but let him go again on roster cutdown day. Two weeks later, he returned to the team via the practice squad but again was released shortly afterwards. A month ago he returned again.