The New England Patriots hosted two free agents on Tuesday, including a familiar face.
Defensive lineman Nick Thurman visited the organization, as shared from the NFL personnel notice by Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed, while wide receiver Austin Watkins was in for a workout.
Thurman, 26, reverted to New England’s injured reserve before reaching an injury settlement in September. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound University of Houston product originally entered the league with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Thurman later agreed to terms with the Patriots the following spring after a stint with Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He would spend the entirety of 2019 on the practice squad before appearing in seven games as a standard elevation and member of the active roster last season. One start and 10 tackles were recorded over 120 defensive snaps.
Watkins, 23, went undrafted and signed with the San Francisco 49ers in May. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound rookie wideout would be waived from injured reserve during training camp. A transfer to UAB from Dodge City Community College, Watkins was named second-team All-Conference USA as a redshirt junior in 2019 after totaling 57 receptions for 1,092 yards and six touchdowns. And in seven games last fall, he earned first-team All-Conference USA after totaling 34 receptions for 468 yards with three touchdowns. Watkins became the first Blazer to attend the Reese’s Senior Bowl since 2012.
The Patriots placed outside linebacker Chase Winovich on injured reserve Tuesday, signing defensive back Myles Bryant to the 53-man roster and kicker Riley Patterson to the practice squad in corresponding moves.