The New England Patriots’ active free agency period continued on Tuesday, with the team deciding to part ways with three of its second-year players. The most prominent name on the list is place kicker and former fifth-round draft selection Justin Rohrwasser; linebackers Cassh Maluia and Michael Pinckney were also let go.
Furthermore, the Patriots re-signing kicker Nick Folk and signing free agent defensive tackle Davon Godchaux was also made official.
As for Rohrwasser, he originally arrived in New England as the 159th overall selection in last year’s draft. The Marshall product brought a powerful leg to the table, but was off to a quiet start in his first ever training camp. Eventually, the Patriots re-signed veteran Nick Folk late in training camp to compete against the then-rookie.
While both Folk and Rohrwasser were released on roster cutdown day last year and reverted to the practice squad, the youngster remained their for the remainder of the season. Folk, meanwhile, went on to have a successful season by making a combined 56 of 61 field goal and extra point attempts. His combined accuracy in both categories of 91.8 percent had him ranked ninth in the league for the 2020 season.
With Folk returning to New England via a one-year deal, and with Roberto Aguayo also on the roster, Rohrwasser only had an outside chance to make the team. He never even got that, as the Patriots have now parted ways with the 24-year-old.
Maluia, meanwhile, joined the Patriots as a sixth-round selection shortly after Rohrwasser. The Wyoming linebacker also started his career on the practice squad, but through a series of elevations eventually ended up appearing in nine games during the 2020 season. He played 10 snaps on defense as well as 76 in the kicking game.
Pinckney, on the other hand, started his tenure with the club as an in-season practice squad addition. He was later suspended for six games and signed to a futures contract.
New England invested considerable resources in its linebacker corps this season, with former second-round draft pick Raekwon McMillan a candidate to fill the off-ball role both Maluia and Pinckney were projected to play in 2021 as well.