With Raekwon McMillan headed for season-ending injured reserve after tearing his ACL earlier this week, the New England Patriots are expected to make a follow-up move at the linebacker position. As first reported by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, and later listed on the NFL transactions report, New England has re-signed Cassh Maluia.
Maluia, 22, originally joined the Patriots as a sixth-round selection in last year’s draft. The Wyoming linebacker started his professional 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.
While Maluia remained with the Patriots heading into the offseason and the new league year, he was cut in late March. The move came four days after the club officially announced signing McMillan to a one-year free agency deal.
Maluia now re-joins a linebacker group headed by veterans Dont’a Hightower, Matthew Judon and Kyle Van Noy. The group also consists of Josh Uche, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Ronnie Perkins, Chase Winovich, Anfernee Jennings, Terez Hall and Harvey Langi. Fifth-round rookie Cameron McGrone remains on the non-football injury list for now, but is not expected to make much of an impact coming off a torn ACL himself.
Maluia, an off-the-ball option, offers additional depth and experience alongside them. While no contract details have been announced just yet, Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan projects a one-year contract worth $780,000.