The New England Patriots’ joint practices with the New York Giants will be a reunion for some.
But not just for the staffs, where the connections range from head coaches Bill Belichick and Joe Judge to defensive coordinator Patrick Graham and quarterbacks coach Jerry Schuplinski.
A half-dozen former Patriots and former Giants currently reside on the rosters. And with sessions announced by the NFL for Aug. 25-26 in Foxborough, leading up to the 6 p.m. ET preseason finale at MetLife Stadium on Aug. 29, here’s an early look through the familiar names.
Note that core special-teamer Nate Ebner, a three-time Super Bowl champion with New England who spent 2020 with New York, remains a free agent after having offseason surgery.
Nate Solder, offensive tackle — Solder started 111 games over the course of his regular seasons and postseasons with New England. Selected in the first round of the 2011 draft at No. 17 overall, the Colorado alum would earn a pair of Super Bowl rings during his tenure and receive the franchise’s Ed Block Courage Award as well as the Ron Burton Community Service Award. Solder exited for the Giants on a four-year, $62 million contract in 2018. The 33-year-old tackle opted out of last season due to Covid-19 concerns and signed a new deal with the Giants in March.
Danny Shelton, defensive tackle — Shelton entered the NFL with the Cleveland Browns at pick No. 12 overall in the 2015 draft, and would be traded to New England in an exchange of third-round and fifth-round capital heading into the 2018 league year. The Washington product played a pair of seasons with the Patriots from there. He totaled 91 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble, including playoffs, on the way to gathering a Super Bowl LIII ring. Shelton spent last year with the Detroit Lions. Following his release in March, the 27-year-old nose tackle reached a one-year deal with New York.
Trent Harris, linebacker — Harris arrived out of Miami as part of the Patriots’ 2018 undrafted class, and recorded a team-best 2.5 sacks during his rookie preseason before spending the entirety of the regular season on the practice squad. A stint with the Dolphins followed after Harris was claimed off waivers at cutdowns in 2019. The 25-year-old then finished this past campaign along the Giants’ defensive front. Between time on the scout team and active roster, Harris appeared in four games and started two for New York to post a half-sack and a handful of tackles. He agreed to a futures pact in January.
Logan Ryan, cornerback — In a 2013 draft that saw the Patriots take three from Rutgers, Ryan landed at No. 83 overall. The versatile corner went on to never miss a game during his New England run. Ryan started 45, counting postseason, while notching 259 tackles, 3.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and 14 interceptions with one score. The Tennessee Titans signed Ryan to a three-year, $30 million contract in 2018. And last fall, the 30-year-old became a Giant on a contract that has since been extended. Ryan finished second on the club in tackles and first in forced fumbles during his inaugural season.
Matt LaCosse, tight end — Lacosse signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois in 2015. And during the 2017 preseason finale versus the Patriots, the tight end caught five passes for 60 yards and two touchdowns. LaCosse, who has also been a member of the New York Jets and Denver Broncos, signed with the Patriots two springs ago. He started eight of his 11 games during the 2019 season, reeling in 13 passes for 131 yards and one TD. The 28-year-old would be among New England’s opt-outs heading into training camp last summer.
Adrian Colbert, safety — The Patriots became Colbert’s sixth NFL team in May. A 2017 seventh-round draft choice by way of the Texas and Miami secondaries, he had been claimed off waivers by the Giants this past September. Colbert saw action in six games and made two starts during his lone year with New York, spending November into December on injured reserve. The 27-year-old logged 13 tackles while playing 104 snaps on defense and 103 snaps on special teams.