The New England Patriots’ 53-man roster and practice squad are set at punter and long snapper, with Jake Bailey and Joe Cardona locked in as the top options at their respective positions. That said, the team is regularly trying to update its emergency free agent lists — something that was done earlier this month — two punters and two long snappers were brought in for workouts — and again on Tuesday when four players visited with the team.
LS Andrew DePaola
DePaola, who spent his college career at Rutgers, arrived in the NFL as a rookie free agent signing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012. While he did not appear in a single game his first two seasons in the NFL, he played 48 for the Buccaneers between the 2014 and 2016 seasons. DePaola joined the Chicago Bears in 2017 to appear in another 16 contests, but the following season — after signing a four-year contract with then Oakland Raiders — tore his ACL in his first game. The 33-year-old did spend the summer of 2019 with the Carolina Panthers, but has been without a club since the team let him go during roster cutdowns that year.
LS Dan Godsil
After appearing in 50 games at Indiana, Godsil did not hear his name called during the NFL’s 2019 draft. He was eventually picked up as a rookie free agent by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but was let go again only a few days later. Godsil went on to join the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he appeared in four preseason games, but had to spend his rookie year out of football after being released. He returned to Cincinnati after the season, but was let go again during roster cutdowns last weekend.
P/K Austin Rehkow
Rehkow started his career not just as a punter but a place kicker as well — a role he also filled after the Buffalo Bills signed the Idaho product in 2017. The undrafted free agent, however, failed to make the team and spent his rookie season out of football before signing a futures deal with the New York Giants. Rehkow also failed to hold onto his job in New York, was eventually let go again after the 2018 draft. He went on to try his luck in both the AAF and the XFL, but with both leagues ceasing operations now has the NFL in his sights again.
P Johnny Townsend
The only player brought in to hear his name called in the draft, Townsend arrived in the NFL as a fifth-round draft choice by the Raiders in 2018. He appeared in all 16 of the team’s games as a rookie — punting 70 times for an average of 43.2 yards — but was let go again the following year. The 25-year-old went on to spend time with the New York Giants and the Baltimore Ravens, not appearing in a game for either team, before hitting the open market over the weekend.