The New England Patriots had a pair of defensive linemen in town for workouts on Monday. Free agents Jashon Cornell and Austin Edwards tried out with the team, per the NFL transaction wire.
Cornell, 25, originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2020. He began his career with the Detroit Lions under then-head coach Matt Patricia but appeared in just one regular season game for the organization before his release earlier this year.
Edwards, 25, also arrived in the league in 2020 but did not hear his name called in the draft. The Ferris State product started out with the Atlanta Falcons, appearing in one game as a rookie, before joining the Kansas City Chiefs via their practice squad. He was released in mid-August and has remained unsigned ever since.
The two free agents both play on the interior of the defensive line — a position group that saw some personnel change recently: New England was forced to send Christian Barmore to injured reserve due to a nagging knee issue. He will miss three more games after already sitting out the Week 11 win over the New York Jets on Sunday.
With Barmore out, the Patriots defensive tackle depth is down to Davon Godchaux, Lawrence Guy, Daniel Ekuale, Carl Davis and Sam Roberts. The team also has Jeremiah Pharms Jr. on the practice squad; fellow rookie LaBryan Ray is on the practice squad IR.
New England currently has two openings on its practice squad, meaning the team would not have to make any follow-up moves if it wanted to add Cornell or Edwards. The Patriots also have one open spot on their 53-man roster after releasing running back J.J. Taylor.