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Patriots host five CFL players for workouts

The group included Grey Cup champion and CFL All-Star Kurleigh Gittens Jr.

CFL: Calgary Stampeders at Toronto Argonauts John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL calendar turns toward futures contracts, the New England Patriots have turned toward the Canadian Football League.

Quarterback Tre Ford, defensive backs Tyrell Ford and Rodney Randle Jr., as well as wide receivers Kurleigh Gittens Jr. and Kian Schaffer-Baker visited for workouts on Tuesday, as first shared by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Tre Ford, 24, was selected in the first round of the 2022 CFL draft at No. 8 overall after earning U Sports first-team All-Canadian honors in addition to the Hec Crighton Trophy. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound quarterback from the University of Waterloo appeared in 10 games as an Edmonton Elks rookie. Rushing 19 times for 149 yards, he went 40-of-69 passing for 461 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions.

Tyrell Ford, 24, played alongside his twin brother with the Waterloo Warriors and was twice a second-team All-Canadian selection. He ran the fastest 40-yard dash at the 2022 CFL combine en route to being drafted in the second round by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at No. 13 overall. Through 18 contests last season, the 5-foot-11, 194-pound defensive back recorded three tackles on defense and 10 tackles on special teams.

Randle, 25, has played in 23 games over three CFL campaigns between the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, intercepting four passes while totaling 69 combined tackles. The 6-foot, 170-pound Texas native by way of Lamar University spent time with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent 2019 before joining the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers in 2020.

Gittens, 25, entered the CFL in the third round of the 2019 draft at No. 23 overall. The 5-foot-11, 194-pound wideout from Wilfrid Laurier University won the 2022 Grey Cup with the Toronto Argonauts. A CFL All-Star last season, his career includes 132 receptions for 1,716 yards and nine touchdowns through 44 games.

Schaffer-Baker, 24, was selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders in the fourth round of the 2020 CFL draft at No. 30 overall. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound University of Guelph product has since appeared in 30 contests to catch 115 passes for 1,523 yards and seven touchdowns.

Last January, the Patriots signed former CFL guard Drew Desjarlais, now of the New Orleans Saints, to a futures contract following a workout and visit.