With the Coronavirus pandemic hanging over the NFL’s collective head, having player emergency lists properly stocked is more important than ever — you never know when one of your players might have to be moved to the league’s new Reserve/Covid-19 list. The New England Patriots have therefore regularly hosted free agency visits over the course of training camp, and just this week brought in five specialists to take a closer look at.
One of them was Colorado punter Alex Kinney, who we already talked about on Tuesday. The other four players who officially visited Gillette Stadium per the NFL’s transactions wire were fellow punters Tyler Newsome and Justin Vogel as well as long snappers Scott Daly and Colton Taylor. Let’s meet them.
LS Scott Daly
Coming off a five-year career at Notre Dame during which he appeared in a total of 51 games, Daly went undrafted in 2017. The Chicago Bears did invite him to their rookie minicamp on a tryout basis, but decided against signing him: Daly had to spend the 2017 season on the open market. He did get a chance the following year, however, when the Dallas Cowboys brought him on board. But while Daly appeared in all four preseason games, he failed to make the team’s roster and was released on cutdown day. He went on to spend time in the AAF and with the XFL, but hit the open market again when the latter league suspended operations earlier this year.
P Tyler Newsome
Like Daly, Newsome also spent his college career at Notre Dame — appearing in 50 games for the Fighting Irish between 2014 and 2018. And just like his former teammate, he also did not hear his name called during the draft. The Los Angeles Chargers did pick him up on a free agency deal to have him compete in training camp, but the rookie failed to make the team’s 53-man roster after attempting seven punts in preseason for a net average of 42.1 yards per kick. Newsome spent the 2019 season out of football before being picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this year. He was released again in late July.
LS Colton Taylor
A former walk-on and teammate of Patriots tight end Dalton Keene, Taylor spent five full seasons as one of Virginia Tech’s long-snappers — appearing in 31 games in the process. Despite a solid athletic skillset, he did not hear his name called during the NFL’s 2018 draft. Instead, Taylor had to wait to find a pro team until the Salt Lake Stallions of the AAF picked him up. He saw action in all eight of his team’s games before the league folded, and went on to hear his name called in the inaugural XFL draft in 2019. Taylor, however, also fell victim to the new league suspending operations in April.
P Justin Vogel
The only member of the workout group to actually play in a non-preseason NFL game, Vogel originally joined the league as a rookie free agent in 2017. Coming off a five-year career at the University of Miami, he was signed by the Green Bay Packers and appeared in all 16 of his team’s contests as a rookie: Vogel punted the football 71 times and averaged a net of 41.6 yards — a new single-season franchise record. Nevertheless, he was unable to hold onto his job the following year and was released after the draft. He spent some time with the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos between the 2018 and 2019 offseasons before joining the XFL. As was the case with Scott Daly and Colton Taylor, his contract also was terminated when the league suspended its operations.