Yesterday, news broke that the Alliance of American Football was on the verge of folding after suspending its operations because of what looks like an ownership dispute. While the league has not yet officially closed its doors just eight weeks into its inaugural regular season, such a move is expected to happen sooner rather than later — leaving dozens of pro football players without a job and on the open market.
While the details of the transformation process between the AAF and the NFL will have to be figured out one way or the other, we know that some former members of the New England Patriots helped their stock when it comes to finding a home in the National Football League once more. Here are eight of those players, who made the most of their time in the short-lived developmental AAF.
QB Garrett Gilbert
If the AAF would finish its season, there’d be a good chance Garrett Gilbert would be named the league’s first-ever MVP. The 27-year-old, who was with the Patriots’ practice squad for the second half of the 2014 season, led the league with 2,152 passing yards through eight weeks and led the Orlando Apollos to a 7-1 record. Along the way, Gilbert also completed 60.6% of his passing attempts and also threw for 13 touchdowns vis-a-vis only 3 interceptions — the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the AAF.
RB Kenneth Farrow
Kenneth Farrow joined the Patriots late during last year’s training camp but failed to make the 53-man-roster. He ultimately ended up on New England’s practice squad two separate times, but was let go for good in early November. He found more success with the AAF’s San Antonio Commanders: in eight games, the 26-year-old rushed for 372 yards — second most in the league — and four touchdowns. Farrow was also named the AAF’s offensive player of the week for registering 142 yards on 30 carries in week four.
OG Tre’ Jackson
A fourth-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2015, Tre’ Jackson re-started his career almost two years after his last stint on an NFL roster (with the Los Angeles Rams, who released him in April 2017). The 26-year-old, who struggled with knee injuries throughout his time in New England and Los Angeles, started all eight games at right guard for the Orlando Apollos and excelled as both a run blocker and pass protector. As a result, he was named to Pro Football Focus’ team of the week on three different occasions.
OG Chase Farris
Chase Farris joined the Patriots’ practice squad in 2016 and was let go again one year later with a non-football injury designation: the Ohio State product was forced to sit out all of 2017 due to an Achilles injury. However, he established himself as a valuable and trustworthy presence at right guard for the Atlanta Legends in 2018. Starting all eight of his team’s games, Farris bounced back nicely after suffering a major injury a little more than a year before his stint in the AAF began.
DT Sealver Siliga
In three seasons with the Patriots, Sealver Siliga appeared in 32 games for the Patriots — helping the team win a Super Bowl after the 2014 season. After bouncing around the league after his contract with New England expired in 2015, Siliga found a new home with the AAF’s Salt Lake Stallions — and proved to be a nice pickup for the team. He started all eight of the Stallions’ games this season, was named to the PFF team of the week twice, and registered 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 8 quarterback hits.
DT Jerel Worthy
Jerel Worthy’s Patriots tenure ended only 18 days after the club acquired him in a mid-training camp trade with the Green Bay Packers. Since then, he bounced around the league before ultimately ending up in the AAF — joining Garrett Gilbert and Tré Jackson in Orlando. While the 28-year-old was forced to sit out the season’s first four games due to a pectoral injury, he did register 9 tackles, 1.0 sack and 3 quarterback hits over the last four contests.
DT Mike Purcell
Mike Purcell’s time in New England was even shorter than Jerel Worthy’s: in total, he spent just 16 days with the team during the 2017 season. After a subsequent stint with the Kansas City Chiefs, he joined fellow ex-Patriot Sealver Siliga in Salt Lake City. There, the 27-year-old established himself as a productive interior pass rusher: appearing in all eight of the Stallions’ games, Purcell registered 13 tackles, 3.0 sacks and 11 quarterback hits — all while being named to two PFF teams of the week.
DE Corey Vereen
After going undrafted in 2017, Corey Vereen joined the Patriots. Only one month later, however, the team placed him on injured reserve before releasing him off the list again in early September. It took the Tennessee product more than a year to find a new team: the Memphis Express added him in August 2018 — and he has become a core member of their defensive line rotation since. Vereen played all eight games for the Express and led the team with 4.0 sacks. On top of that, the 23-year-old also registered 10 tackles, 6 quarterback hits and 2 forced fumbles.