The New England Patriots are in the middle of preparations for their upcoming AFC East clash with the Buffalo Bills, but that does not mean that they are not also having the more distant future in mind: the time after the NFL season, whether it starts in January or — ideally — February. New England, as first reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss, therefore had a pair of players in town from the Canadian Football League.
While the Patriots will not add them to their active roster just yet, there is a chance that they get signed to futures-contracts after the season ends. And it would not be the first time that the team went north of the border to acquire talent: in 2013, for example, the team brought defensive linemen Armond Armstead and Jason Vega on board from Canada, and just earlier this year added offensive tackle Ryker Mathews to its offseason roster.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the two players to visit Foxborough on Wednesday.
RB William Stanback
After going undrafted out of Virginia Union in 2017, William Stanback signed a rookie contract with the Green Bay Packers but ultimately failed to make the team’s roster or practice squad. He spent the season out of football, but eventually joined the Montreal Alouettes with whom he spent the last two years as a dual-threat back: Stanback registered a combined 251 carries for 1,587 yards and five touchdowns in 30 games, as well as 58 receptions for 642 yards and two scores. In 2019, when he had 1,377 yards from scrimmage and found the end zone five times, the 25-year-old was named to the CFL All-Star team.
CB Marcus Sayles
Sayles also went undrafted in 2017 and he later joined the Buffalo Bills as a rookie free agent. Unlike Stanback, however, the West Georgia product did earn a spot on the practice squad: he started his rookie season on the Bills’ and later moved on to the Los Angeles Rams’. But despite signing a futures contract with the team in 2018, he was eventually released and later joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Over the next two seasons, Sayles appeared in 34 games for the team and registered six interceptions, three forced fumbles and a pair of sacks. He also helped the Blue Bombers win the Grey Cup earlier this year.