After not seeing the field during the New England Patriots’ win against the New York Jets on Monday night, rookie linebacker Cassh Maluia was let go the next day amid a series of transactions made by the club. As with all players released after the trade deadline regardless of experience, he subsequently was exposed to the waiver wire. However, Maluia made it through without getting claimed by another club.
The 22-year-old is therefore now free to re-sign with the Patriots via their practice squad — a move that is expected to happen, as first reported by NESN’s Doug Kyed.
Maluia originally arrived in New England as a sixth-round selection in this year’s draft. While he failed to make the initial 53-man roster, he signed with the Patriots’ practice squad following his release and shortly thereafter was promoted to the active team. Since then, he has appeared in six games as a three-unit special teamer: playing 65 snaps in the game’s third phase, he was primarily employed on both return teams and on kickoff coverage.
The Wyoming product has yet to play a snap on the defensive side of the ball, though. This limited his value and made him the odd man out when the Patriots needed to create spots on their team after trading for wide receiver Isaiah Ford and claiming defensive tackle Isaiah Mack off waivers last week. New England had to find room on the 53 for the two new additions; placing tight end Dalton Keene on injured reserve and waiving Maluia did the trick.
With him now expected to join the practice squad, the Patriots will have to make a follow-up move: a full 16 players are currently signed to the developmental roster, including three linebackers (Terez Hall, Rashod Berry, Michael Pinckney).
Maluia clearing waivers was not the only Patriots-related news on the NFL’s latest transactions wire, though.
Defensive tackle Beau Allen, who returned to practice three weeks ago but was never activated to the 53-man team, officially reverted back to injured reserve for the remainder of the season. The move was only a formality at this point in time, as head coach Bill Belichick already announced that Allen would be unable to play this season. The free agency signee is dealing with an undisclosed ailment.