The New England Patriots had a busy last two days. Not only did they acquire cornerback Michael Jackson via trade from the Detroit Lions on Sunday, they also signed four free agents on Monday to bring their roster to a full 80 players. One day later, however, it seems as if the team will again have an open spot to work with.
While the signings of running back Lamar Miller, offensive lineman Tyler Gauthier and defensive tackle Darius Kilgo are expected to become official soon, the same cannot be said about that of tight end Jordan Leggett: the 25-year-old will not become a Patriot, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, despite earlier reports to the contrary.
The reason for the team’s change of plans remain unknown at this point in time, but Leggett not joining the team serves as a good reminder that nothing becomes official until a player (or coach, see: the Indianapolis Colts’ pursuit of Josh McDaniels) has signed his contract.
As for Leggett, him not joining the Patriots puts the team’s roster count at 79 players and also leaves a tight end room intact that is the least experienced in football. Third-year man Ryan Izzo is the only player at the position who has played in an NFL game before: he has six in-game appearances as well as six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown on his résumé. The other members of the group — third-round rookies Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene; undrafted rookies Jake Burt and Rashod Berry — are all in their first training camp.
Leggett himself, meanwhile, 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.
The Patriots’ other reported signings — Miller, Gauthier, Kilgo — are also not official yet.