Earlier this week, the New England Patriots had six players in town for free agency workouts; five of them defensive backs. Yesterday, the team addressed the offense by bringing in five more free agents: four wide receivers and a quarterback were worked out by the club. While none of them should be expected to be added to the 53-man roster anytime soon, the Patriots are always trying to keep their emergency lists and litany of practice squad candidates up to date.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the men to visit Gillette Stadium earlier this week (via ESPN’s Mike Reiss):
WR Deontay Burnett
After starting his career as an undrafted rookie signing by the Tennessee Titans last year, Deontay Burnett joined the New York Jets’ practice squad following roster cuts. He moved between the practice squad, open market and active roster and ultimately finished the regular season with five in-game appearances and 10 catches for 143 yards. Lining primarily up on the perimeter, the 6-foot-0 receiver had his best game of the year against New England in Week 17 when he caught five passes for 73 yards.
WR Amara Darboh
The Patriots and Amara Darboh have a history together: the team claimed him after cutdown day last year, but he was let go again after two days following a failed physical. Up until that point, Darboh had shown some promise in the NFL as the former third-round draft pick appeared in all 16 of the Seattle Seahawks’ games in 2017 as a depth outside receiver. He caught eight passes for 71 yards while also seeing regular time on special teams, but was unable to build on his rookie season: Darboh spent all of 2018 on the Seahawks’ injured reserve after reverting back to them following his short stint in New England.
WR Anthony Johnson
An undrafted rookie, Anthony Johnson started his pro career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But while he saw regular action as an outside receiver in all four of the team’s exhibition games, he was unable to distinguish himself: after catching just five passes for 57 yards, the Buccaneers released the 6-foot-2, 210-pound wideout again. While not the most impressive of athletes, Johnson is a technically sound receiver who brings impressive college production — he caught 133 passes for 2,367 and 25 touchdowns during his last two years at Buffalo — and good size as a potential Z receiver to the table.
WR Spencer Schnell
Like Johnson, Spencer Schnell also entered the league as an undrafted signing by the Buccaneers earlier this year. As opposed to his former teammate, however, he played primarily in the slot during preseason. His production was somewhat similar to Johnson’s, though: the 5-foot-9 rookie caught seven passes for 119 yards — all of which coming in the first exhibition game. Schnell also saw a little action in the return game, but overall failed to impress the Bucs enough to be kept around through cutdown day.
QB Mike White
Entering the league as a fifth-round draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018, Mike White spent his entire rookie season as the team’s third quarterback. While on the 53-man roster all year long, he did not see any actual in-game action. He was, however, extensively used during the preseason both last year and this year. That being said, White looked bad during the 2019 exhibition schedule: he completed just 52.9% of his passes (36 of 68) for 305 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Numbers tell only part of the story, as he also looked indecisive in the pocket and consistently made questionable decisions.