The New England Patriots had 75 players remaining on their active roster following the NFL’s player opt-out deadline, and it seems as if they are planning to close that five-player hole rather quickly. After acquiring cornerback Michael Jackson via trade from the Detroit Lions on Sunday, the team is expected to bring two more players aboard on Monday.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, New England will sign tight end Jordan Leggett and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo. Both players had been to Gillette Stadium last week to hold free agency workouts with the team, and will now join the organization pending physicals and Covid-19 testing. The Patriots’ roster will therefore move to 78, with only two more spots remaining under the 80-player threshold.
Leggett originally joined the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick by the New York Jets in 2017. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 258 pounds, the 25-year-old appeared in 15 games and made four starts during his time with the Patriots’ division rivals. He caught 14 passes for 114 yards and one touchdown along the way, before getting waived last offseason. The Clemson product went on to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but did not seeing any playing time in 2019. He was waived by the team in July.
Kilgo, meanwhile, will join the Patriots for his second stint. The 28-year-old, who has also been a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and Detroit Lions, joined New England’s practice squad during the 2016 season — eventually winning a Super Bowl ring as a member of the team. Kilgo has 29 in-game appearances on his NFL résumé since joining the league as a sixth-round draft pick in 2015, even though none of them came while with the Patriots.
With Leggett and Kilgo soon joining the club, New England has bolstered the depth at two of its most vulnerable positions. At tight end, Leggett will join Ryan Izzo as the only player on the depth chart not in his rookie year; at defensive tackle, Kilgo will offer experienced depth behind a top-three made out of Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and Beau Allen.