The New England Patriots have begun the reduction from 85 to 80.
Hafford, 24, arrived as part of New England’s 2022 undrafted class in May. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Tarleton State product was waived following rookie minicamp. He re-signed last week and saw five snaps on defense to go with three snaps on special teams in Friday night’s 20-10 preseason win over the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Hafford earned second-team AP FCS All-American and Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a redshirt senior.
Elliott, 24, signed with the Patriots to begin August after visiting for a free-agent workout that also included Hafford. Undrafted out of Notre Dame in 2020, the 6-foot, 210-pound Irish captain spent portions of the past two campaigns with the Detroit Lions. He recorded 12 tackles last regular season while serving as an elevation from the practice squad and member of the active roster. Elliott played 21 snaps in the secondary on Friday after starting and totaling a team-high 10 tackles in the exhibition opener against the New York Giants.
New England now stands with an active roster of 83.
The NFL’s 80-man deadline is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. The 53-man deadline will follow on Aug. 30 after preseason finales conclude around the league.