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Patriots let 5 practice squad players enter free agency after allowing their contracts to expire

The five players in questions were not signed to new contracts last week.

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The New England Patriots let the contracts of five former members of their practice squad expire. All of them have therefore now officially entered free agency and are free to sign with any club, as first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

The group is headed by veteran linebacker Jamie Collins, offensive lineman Bill Murray and. place kicker Tristan Vizcaino, who all saw in-game action for the Patriots during the 2022 season. It also includes wide receiver Lynn Bowden Jr. and quarterback Garrett Gilbert.

Collins, 33, returned to the Patriots back in October. The 10-year veteran was elevated to the game-day roster on three separate occasions, finishing the year with a combined 61 snaps between defense and special teams. He also registered a pair of tackles.

Murray, 25, moved from the defensive to the offensive line this offseason. Despite his lack of experience in his new position, the third-year man was able to make the practice squad out of training camp. He saw action in New England’s Week 13 loss to Buffalo, playing three snaps on special teams.

Vizcaino, 26, was a standard practice squad elevation for the Patriots’ games against Buffalo and Cincinnati. Playing six snaps in the kicking game, he served as a kickoff specialist: he had six of them with zero touchbacks and opponents gaining an average of 20.2 yards per return.

Gilbert, 31, returned to New England after injuries suffered by quarterbacks Mac Jones and Brian Hoyer. In turn, he was brought aboard to back up rookie Bailey Zappe during his two starts. He reverted to the practice squad after both contests, and was not elevated again following Jones’ return to the starting position.

Bowden Jr., 25, was picked up in September after his release from the Miami Dolphins. He spent the entire year on the developmental roster without seeing any action.

Last week, New England decided to sign 12 players to reserve/futures contracts.

The majority of them ended the season on the practice squad. Running back J.J. Taylor, wide receiver Tre Nixon, tight ends Matt Sokol and Scotty Washington, offensive lineman Hayden Howerton, defensive linemen Jeremiah Pharms Jr. and LaBryan Ray, linebackers Terez Hall and Calvin Munson, cornerback Quandre Mosely, and safety Brad Hawkins were all retained from the developmental team. Additionally, former CFL defensive back Rodney Randle Jr. also received a contract.