Even after signing tight ends Alex Ellis and Paul Butler as well as offensive lineman Ben Braden earlier this week, the New England Patriots still have two open spots on their 80-man training camp roster. Additional personnel movement is inevitable, and something head coach Bill Belichick also projected during a media conference call earlier this week.
It is therefore not surprising that the team is actively looking at the free agency market for potential reinforcements: after already bringing in former Arizona Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Xavier Williams on Wednesday, the Patriots also had tight end Paul Quessenberry in for a tryout on Thursday. As opposed to sixth-year man Williams, however, Quessenberry lacks any experience in the NFL.
In fact, he has not played in a football game at any level since graduating from the Naval Academy five-and-a-half years ago.
Quessenberry appeared in 38 contests during his time with the Midshipmen and registered 3.5 sacks from his defensive end position, but did not hear his name called during the NFL’s 2015 draft. He did have a tryout with the Houston Texans that same year, but was not offered a contract. With no additional teams showing any interest, Quessenberry decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps and worked his way up to infantry officer.
With his commitment now over, he is once again trying his luck in the NFL and to follow the footsteps of his brothers David and Scott: David is in his eighth year in the league and currently competing for a job along the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line; Scott is entering Year Three as an interior O-lineman for the Los Angeles Chargers. Paul, meanwhile, has moved from the defensive line to tight end, according to the NFL’s transaction wire.
The Patriots, of course, are in need of some quality depth at the position after experiencing considerable personnel changes this offseason.
The two top options from 2019, Benjamin Watson and Matt LaCosse, will not be available this season after retiring and opting out, respectively. The club also added four rookies: third-round picks Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene are locks to make the roster, with Jake Burt and Rashod Berry — who has been used at defensive end so far in training camp — as depth behind them. The aforementioned Alex Ellis and Paul Butler were also recently added to the mix. Third-year man Ryan Izzo is the lone returning tight end from last year.