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Patriots connections within the XFL’s 52-man rosters

On Monday, the XFL released its Week 1 rosters.

NFL: Preseason-Carolina Panthers at New England Patriots Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

As XFL rosters reduced 52 players on Monday, New England Patriots familiarity remained.

Not to the extent it did when the XFL’s initial draft pool was released in October. Not to the extent it did following the five-phase draft process. But several who had previous stints with the Patriots, however brief, continue theirs with the league’s eight teams.

And that’s if excluding the coaching likes of Pepper Johnson and Otis Smith.

Here’s a look through the past Patriots on XFL rosters before the regular season begins on Feb. 8.


Christian Kuntz, linebacker – The Buck Buchanan Award finalist out of Duquesne made a one-day stop on New England’s 90-man roster in August 2017. Kuntz, who has also operated as a long snapper, spent the past preseason with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Willie Beavers, guard – A Minnesota Vikings fourth-round draft choice in 2016, Beavers joined New England’s practice squad to begin September of 2017. The Western Michigan product’s most recent NFL experience came with the San Francisco 49ers last summer.


Nick Brossette, running back – Signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie in 2019, Brossette proceeded to lead the NFL with 200 preseason rushing yards and scored three touchdowns. The LSU Tiger later joined the Detroit Lions’ practice squad.

Scooby Wright, linebacker – Wright started and notched two sacks in New England’s August preseason finale. The ex-Arizona Cardinal, Cleveland Brown and Arizona Hotshot had signed earlier that week, and would return as part of the practice squad in September.


Toby Weathersby, guard – Weathersby signed to the Patriots’ practice squad in late 2018 after entering with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent. First drafted by the Defenders, the former LSU offensive lineman signed with the Roughnecks in December.

Kony Ealy, defensive end – The Patriots moved down No. 64 to No. 72 overall in the 2017 draft to acquire Ealy from the Carolina Panthers. The Super Bowl 50 standout’s stay with New England ended on waivers after three preseason games.


Quentin Gause, linebacker – Gause, a Rutgers Scarlet Knight, resided on New England’s practice squad for the first month of the 2016 season. Gause has been a member of the Denver Broncos, Ottawa Redblacks and Memphis Express since then.

Anthony Johnson, defensive end – The New York Jets signed Johnson off the Patriots’ practice squad in November 2016. Johnson had played in four games that regular season for New England, recording eight tackles, after having a hand in two preseason sacks.


Ian Silberman, guard – Silberman, a 2015 fifth-round pick out of Boston College, has been rostered by nine NFL teams. In September and October of 2016, he would be by New England as part of the scout team.


Taylor Heinicke, quarterback – A record-setter at Old Dominion, Heinicke would begin the fall of 2017 on the Patriots’ practice squad after being waived by the Minnesota Vikings. Heinicke was awarded to the BattleHawks in the XFL’s supplemental November draft.

Robert Nelson, cornerback – Nelson accrued one week on the Patriots’ practice squad in September 2017. The BattleHawks acquired the former Arizona State defensive back from the Roughnecks midway through January.

Steve Beauharnais, linebacker – A seventh-round pick in the 2013 draft, Beauharnais appeared in two contests as a Patriots rookie, recording one tackle. The Rutgers alum collected an interception and returned it 61 yards during New England’s 2014 preseason.


Kenneth Farrow, running back – Farrow was signed by New England leading up to the 2018 preseason finale. Two tours on the practice squad followed before Farrow turned his run with the Alliance of American Football into an opportunity with the Miami Dolphins.

Trey Williams, running back – The Patriots claimed Williams off waivers from the Dallas Cowboys as the calendar flipped to December 2015. The undrafted Texas A&M back split his two-week stay between New England’s active roster and practice squad.


Martez Ivey, offensive tackle – A two-time second-team All-SEC selection who started 44 games for the Florida Gators, Ivey signed with the Patriots as training camp began last July. The undrafted rookie appeared in three preseason games before the league’s 53-man cut.

Ryan Davis, wide receiver – Davis and Patriots fourth-rounder Jarrett Stidham became Auburn’s all-time completion tandem. The wideout would later accompany the quarterback to New England as a rookie free agent, catching three passes for 30 yards last preseason.