After five straight days of training camp practices, including three in full pads, the New England Patriots took the day off on Saturday. However, the team was anything but inactive as a look at the NFL’s official transaction wire shows: the Patriots did not only work out kicker Nick Folk (who is expected to eventually be re-signed), they also made a total four roster moves — signing two players and releasing two others.
The players who were signed are defensive tackle Xavier Williams and tight end Paul Quessenberry, both of whom visited New England earlier this week. Defensive tackle xx Darius Kilgo and tight end Alex Ellis were released.
DT Xavier Williams
Williams has appeared in 44 regular season games and four playoff contests since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He has recorded 83 combined tackles, three sacks as well as three forced fumbles while spending time with the Arizona Cardinals (2015-17) and the Kansas City Chiefs (2018-19). The 28-year-old was part of the Super Bowl winning Chiefs last year, even though he did not appear in the title game and spent time on temporary injured reserve because of a high-ankle sprain.
Adding the veteran to the defensive tackle position makes sense considering that free agency signee Beau Allen has been sidelined throughout the early portions of training camp for undisclosed reasons. With Allen out, the Patriots’ depth chart at the position also includes Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Byron Cowart, undrafted rookie Bill Murray and now Xavier Williams. Darius Kilgo, who was recently added to the equation, was released again as part of today’s transactions.
TE Paul Quessenberry
Quessenberry appeared in 38 contests during his time at the Naval Academy and registered 3.5 sacks from the 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 interest, Quessenberry decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps before eventually being brought in for a free agency tryout with the Patriots earlier this week with his commitment over and him having switched to tight end.
While Quessenberry has not appeared in a football game at any level over the last five years, he will offer depth to a tight end depth char that has seen some considerable personnel turnover the last two offseasons. Third-round rookies 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. Veterans Ryan Izzo and Paul Butler offer additional depth, with Alex Ellis the second player being released today.