The New England Patriots released defensive tackle Marcus Forston in order to sign second-year DT Terrell McClain, but they have added Forston back to the team after releasing safety Cyhl Quarles from the practice squad.
Quarles, an undrafted rookie out of Wake Forest, has been cut by both the Patriots and Baltimore Ravens since getting into the league this year. He is a high-energy leader and a high-character player with great work ethic. However, he is terrible in coverage and was used exclusively as a run-stopper for the Demon Deacons in college.
Even so, he was a great run stopper and was one of the best defensive players in the ACC. Quarles was well-known for his brutal hits and high tackle numbers playing for Wake Forest. The Patriots signed him after releasing converted tight end Alex Silvestro from the practice squad. It looked like the Pats had something planned with Quarles as a special teams player in the future, but Forston offers more value in the short-term for the team.
New England likely signed McClain in order to try and develop the undersized DT into a solid rotational pass rusher. He can penetrate the defensive backfield, but he is one of the worst DTs in the league against the run and had a disappointing year as a rookie for the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers did give up on him too easy, and McClain has value to the Patriots if they can convert him into that niche role as an interior pass rusher in specific situations.
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