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Patriots let 12 practice squad players enter free agency after allowing their contracts to expire

Related: Patriots sign 6 players to futures contracts, including Kristian Wilkerson

NFL: OCT 24 Jets at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The New England Patriots let the contracts of 12 former members of their practice squad expire. All 12 of them have therefore officially entered free agency now, and are free to sign with any club.

The group is headed by defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale, and also includes fellow defensive tackle Bill Murray, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds, defensive backs De’Vante Bausby, D.J. Daniel, Sean Davis, Cre’Von LeBlanc and D’Angelo Ross. Tight end Matt LaCosse, wide receiver Jaylen Smith, and offensive linemen James Ferentz and Alex Redmond have also not been re-signed by the Patriots.

Out of those 12 players, six appeared in a game for the Patriots this season.

Ekuale, 28, played in seven regular season contests and New England’s playoff loss in Buffalo. The fourth-year man, who joined the team in early September after his release from the Jacksonville Jaguars registered two sacks and six combined tackles. Him being on the list is a bit of a surprise after he hinted at re-signing with the team last week.

Bausby, 29, saw action in the Patriots’ final game of the season as well. He played three defensive snaps with the team scrambling to replace starting cornerback Jalen Mills, who was sent to the Covid-19 reserve list earlier that week.

Ross, 25, also appeared in that game plus three others during the regular season. A former rookie free agent in his third season with the team, the New Mexico product ended the year with 60 defensive snaps and three tackles.

Davis, 28, played to games this year. A depth option more than anything, he was on the field for six total snaps. The former second-round draft pick did not register any statistics.

LaCosse, 29, was on the field for 10 total snaps in Week 9 against the Cleveland Browns: he played nine on offense plus another in the kicking game. The third-year Patriot, who essentially shared the TE3 role with youngster Devin Asiasi, finished with no catches.

Ferentz, 32, started two of his three games this season. He served as New England’s starting left guard against the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys, while regular starter Michael Onwenu was on the Coronavirus reserve list. Ferentz saw some action in Week 7 versus the New York Jets as well, ending the season with a combined 130 offensive snaps.

Murray, Reynolds, Daniel, LeBlanc, Smith, and Redmond, meanwhile, did not see the field for the Patriots during the 2021 season.

Last week, New England decided to sign seven players to reserve/futures contracts. Six of them ended the season on the team’s practice squad: wide receivers Kristian Wilkerson, Tre Nixon and Malcolm Perry, running back Devine Ozigbo, offensive lineman William Sherman, and kicker Quinn Nordin. Offensive lineman Arlington Hambright was also added to the mix.