Practice Squad Round-up

The Patriots made several moves aquiring, re-signing, and releasing players. When the dust cleared, the practice squad had eight players on the roster.

By Kevin Saleeba

FOXBORO – The New England Patriots set their practice squad roster Sunday but two other incumbents got their walking papers as a result.
Leon Washington(Kevin Saleeba / Patriots Insider)

Cornerback Marquice Cole and running back/kickoff returner Leon Washington have been released following several transactions made by the Patriots. The Patriots now report 53 players on their active roster with eight players on the practice squad.

One transaction had the Patriots claim four players off waivers, adding third-year linebacker Chris White from Detroit, and three rookies, offensive lineman Braxston Cave from Cleveland, guard Chris Barker from Miami and defensive tackle A.J. Francis from the Dolphins.

Along with the waiver claims, the Patriots re-signed linebacker Ja'Gared Davis, safety Kanorris Davis, defensive back Justin Green, defensive lineman Marcus Forston and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian to the practice squad. All five of those players were released by the team on Saturday.


Released Players:

Marquice Cole, 29, was re-signed by the Patriots on March 20. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound veteran of four seasons joined New England as a free agent on March 19, 2012.
Marquice Cole(Kevin Saleeba / Patriots Insider)

Cole played in 51 games in his career with two starts and has registered 26 defensive tackles, three interceptions with one returned for a touchdown and 43 special teams tackles. Last season, he played in 14 games with one start and finished with 12 total tackles and one interception.

Leon Washington earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008 and 2012 and All-Pro honors in 2007, 2008 and 2010, but a logjam of talented running backs on the Patriots roster made the eight year vet expendable.

Washington has played in 103 games in his NFL career with 14 starts. He has registered 473 rushing attempts for 2,213 yards and 16 touchdowns, and 146 receptions for 1,127 yards and two touchdowns. He has also returned 168 punts for 1,668 yards and 244 kickoffs for 6,315 yards and eight touchdowns. Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns. He also tied an NFL record when he returned two kicks for a touchdown in a game against San Diego in 2010.

Waiver claims:

Braxston Cave, 24, was signed by the Cleveland Browns as a rookie free agent out of Notre Dame on April 30. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound offensive lineman was released by Cleveland on Friday. He played in 48 games for Notre Dame, including 35 starts at center. He also served as the team's long snapper.
Braxston Cave(Getty)

Chris Barker, 23, was signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent out of Nevada on May 3. The 6-foot-2, 310-pound guard was released by Miami on Saturday. Barker was a four-year starter at Nevada, and became the first player in school history to start every game in all four seasons.

A.J. Francis, 23, was signed by the Miami Dolphins as a rookie free agent out of Maryland on May 3. The 6-foot, 316-pound defensive lineman was released by Miami on Friday. He was a four-year letterman at Maryland and recorded 149 total tackles, 9 ½ sacks and three blocked kicks.

Chris White, 24, is a two year NFL veteran. The 6-foot-3, 238-pound linebacker was a fourth-round draft pick (169th overall) out of Mississippi State in 2011. In two NFL seasons, he has played in 22 games, mainly on special teams. Last season, White played in 15 games and finished with 11 special teams tackles.

Re-signed to practice squad:

Ja'Gared Davis, 22, was claimed off waivers by the Patriots on Aug. 28. The 6-foot, 238-pound linebacker was originally signed by the Houston Texans as a rookie free agent from Southern Methodist on May 10 and was released on Aug. 27. He played in 53 college games and recorded 301 total tackles, 20 sacks, four interceptions, eight forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Ja'Gared Davis(Scout)

Kanorris Davis, 23, joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Troy on May 3. The 5-foot-10, 207-pounder, played as a linebacker in college where he helped Troy win the Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2011 and 2012.

Justin Green, 22, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Illinois on July 21. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound defensive back began his college career at Illinois as a running back before moving to the secondary for his final three seasons. He made 29 starts over his final three seasons, registering 76 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
Justin Green(Kevin Saleeba / Patriots Insider)

Marcus Forston, 23, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Miami on May 10, 2012. The 6-foot-3, 305-pound defensive lineman made the 53-man roster right out of camp in 2012, but was released early in the season and brought back to the practice squad where he spent the majority of the season. He eventually re-joined the 53-man roster prior to the AFC Championship game. Forston played in one game in the regular season, but did not register any statistics in that game.

Jeff Tarpinian, 25, joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Iowa on July 27, 2011. He has rotated between the Patriots practice squad and the 53-man roster over the last two seasons. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker played in 10 games with one start in his career and has registered five total tackles on defense and eight tackles on special teams.

Practice squad rules:

Each NFL team can have up to eight players on their practice squad. Practice squad players can practice with the team, but do not play in games. Players are paid per week and can be released at any point during the season. Players are free to sign with other NFL teams, assuming they are signed to the 53-man active roster. A practice squad player cannot be signed to another practice squad unless he is first released.

Practice squads are considered to be for developmental purposes. Therefore, veterans are not eligible to be signed to the practice squad. Players with more than one year of accrued NFL service are not eligible.


Kevin Saleeba is the senior editor and columnist for Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinSaleeba

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