Over the course of the years, the NFL has seen dozens of other football leagues come and go. The Spring League, however, is built on a foundation that has advantages most of the other leagues had not: It is not directly competing with the league and more importantly sees itself as more of a scouting tool. Think of Senior Bowl of East-West Shrine Game for NFL veterans.
This year's event will start next week and run until April 13 in Austin, Texas. Two days ago, the league officially announced its rosters and a total of 151 players will take part in the workouts and games – a noticeable increase from the 97 players that participated in last year's Spring League in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
Among the players competing are also three former members of the New England Patriots:
TE Zach Sudfeld
OL Kona Schwenke
LB Steve Beauharnais
Zach Sudfeld was originally signed by the Patriots after going undrafted in 2013. Following a solid preseason performance, the rookie was able to earn a role on the team's 53-man roster but was released after only three games during which he played a combined 45 offensive snaps. Sudfeld was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets and spent the better parts of the next three years with New England's division rivals.
Like Sudfeld, Steve Beauharnais also entered the league in 2013 albeit as a seventh round draft selection. Mostly a healthy scratch during his rookie campaign, the Rutgers product appeared in two games: He played one defensive snap and made a tackle, while also playing 10 snaps on special teams. However, Beauharnais was unable released after 2014's preseason and went on to spend the next two seasons in Washington and San Francisco.
As opposed to Sudfeld and Beauharnais, Kona Schwenke never appeared in an actual game for the Patriots. After starting his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, New England signed him to its practice squad in September 2014. Two months later, the undrafted rookie was released again. The 25-year old has yet to appear in an NFL regular season or postseason game.
Also on the Spring League's roster is running back David Cobb. The former fifth round draft selection never signed with the Patriots but did have a workout with the team in September 2016.