On Monday, the New England Patriots created three open roster spots through a series of transactions. On Tuesday, the team filled all of them again with one of the spots going to free agent wide receiver Bennie Fowler. An intriguing option as a depth option in the slot as well as a special teamer with the ability to return punts, Fowler was seen as a candidate to quickly have an impact in New England.
Four days later, his outlook has changed: according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the team has opted to release the 27-year old again in order to make room on the active roster for practice squad offensive tackle Cole Croston. Seeing New England add another offensive tackle to its 53-man team does not come as a surprise considering that starting right tackle Marcus Cannon is not projected to be available tomorrow.
Instead, the Patriots will rely on LaAdrian Waddle to protect Tom Brady’s right side against a talented Jacksonville Jaguars defense. With Waddle pushed into a starting role, the team was in need for another tackle – and Croston will fill that role, at least for now. Fowler, meanwhile, will not go through the waiver wire and instead hit the open market directly; the five-year veteran is not eligible to be signed to New England’s practice squad.
As a result of the Croston/Fowler exchange, the Patriots had an open spot on their 10-man scout team waiting to be filled: wide receiver Riley McCarron, who served as the team’s punt returner last week but muffed one kick was re-signed.