The first day of the NFL’s 2019 free agency is in the books, which means that the New England Patriots are now ready to step into the ring — at least tentatively by bringing in players for workouts. Earlier today, it was reported that the club will take a look at defensive lineman Allen Bailey and tight end Matt LaCosse. Now, it appears as if the Patriots have also set their sights on a pair of wide receivers.
According to a report by ESPN’s Field Yates, New England is hosting Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris today — two players that could help address the reigning world champions’ shortage of wide receivers that exists at the moment: even with Phillip Dorsett getting re-signed to a one-year contract yesterday, the Patriots still have only two proven commodities at the position in him and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman.
Ellington traveled through the NFL since getting drafted in the fourth round in 2014: he started his career with the San Francisco 49ers before joining the New York Jets for a couple of days in the summer of 2017. The 5’9, 200 lbs wideout then was picked up by the Houston Texans with whom he spent the next one-and-a-half seasons before getting placed on and subsequently released off injured reserve in 2018.
After his release, the Detroit Lions picked Ellington up and he went on to appear in four games for the team. Before his release in February, the 27-year-old caught 23 passes for the club coached by ex-Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia for a combined 132 yards. All in all, he finished the 2018 season with 31 receptions for 224 yards and one touchdown.
Former undrafted free agent Maurice Harris had a more stable career in the NFL so far: since getting signed by the Washington Redskins in 2016, he did not wear another uniform. That being said, the team released him ahead of both his rookie season and the 2017 campaign to stash him on its practice squad. Both years, however, Harris was eventually promoted to the active roster later during the season.
In 2018, he made Washington’s 53-man squad right away and produced the best year of his career. Appearing in 12 games, the 6’3, 200 lbs receiver caught 28 passes for 304 yards. Despite finding some success, however, the team opted to not place a tender sheet on the restricted free agent. In turn, Harris hit the open market yesterday.