New England Patriots work out Rock Cartwright and Lavasier Tuinei

The New England Patriots worked out four players yesterday in veteran running back Rock Cartwright, rookie wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei, guard Mitch Petrus, and another recently released wide receiver in Kamar Aiken.

Rock Cartwright is a 32-year-old veteran who has most recently played for the Oakland Raiders but was once a star on special teams from 2006-2009 for the Washington Redskins. The long-time Redskins back was also a solid depth running back with a career average of 4.2 yards per carry on 228 rushes.

In 2007, Cartwright was ninth in the league in yards per kick return and was one of the better returners in the league from 2006-2008. The Patriots could sign him to shore up depth with Brandon Bolden out, but I doubt Cartwright has enough speed to also chip in as a returner these days. He most recently played for the San Francisco 49ers.

Lavasier Tuinei was recently released by the Seattle Seahawks and is a former star wide receiver from the Oregon Ducks. Tuinei has an incredible amount of raw, athletic ability, but he couldn’t even put it all together in college with the Ducks. Tuinei would be an interesting project on the practice squad for future development.

Both starting guards Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly went down with injuries in the first-half of the game against the Buffalo Bills, so working out guard Mitch Petrus as possible future depth makes a ton of sense. Petrus was released earlier this month by the New York Giants and is a former fifth-round draft pick. He has played in 23 games in his career, so experience is definitely a plus for him.

Aiken was recently released by the Chicago Bears and has never caught a pass in his NFL career. The last time he took the field was for the Buffalo Bills in 2011 and was an undrafted project player out of UCF in 2011.

Tuinei and Petrus are worth signing, while Aiken and Cartwright should get passed over- especially Aiken. He is clearly not as good as Tuinei and has the least future importance to the Patriots.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Kamar Aiken Lavasier Tuinei Mitch Petrus New England Patriots Rock Cartwright

  • LTR1TW

    The Rose Bowl wasn’t even a year ago; have you forgotten his monster, MVP-winning game already? I’d say he put it all together.

    • Joe Soriano

      I try not to go by one game. He was insane in that game, but that’s the thing. Tuinei never consistently puts together a solid string of games and could have been so much better than he was in college. As a senior, he didn’t even catch 50 passes and was never among the league leaders in receptions or yardage. Tuinei is a great red zone threat and can go off for a huge game (as he did against Wisconsin), but he also had eight games last season with three catches or less.

      • LTR1TW

        I don’t think it’s fair to write that performance off as a fluke or an outlier, because it was his very last collegiate game … in the Rose Bowl, no less. I mean, you’ve used “never” twice now, that’s an absolute which is demonstrably untrue. Surely we can agree a qualifier is at least deserved?

        I think it’s more accurate to say he was consistently improving, in particular getting softer hands, with that game as the culmination. I’ll concede that he has lower numbers as a senior than might be expected in a vacuum, but keep in mind too that he played most of his career a) in Jeff Maehl’s shadow, and b) in a run-first spread offense.

        Evaluating him as a deep threat pro-style receiver is tough to do with that resume — not to mention that he received zero criticism for his most important role in that offense, which was throwing crazy blocks.

        The better question in my mind is, what precisely is he (apparently) not improving on that’s kept him on scout teams as a pro?

        • Joe Soriano

          Alright, now I agree with you. He hasn’t put it together yet, but I did write in the article that he has a lot of raw ability and would be an interesting project player on the practice squad.

          We’re both Ducks fans, and I completely agree with you that he improved throughout his senior year. This is especially true with regards to the finer points of the position, and it culminated in the best game of his career on one of the biggest stages in college sports.

          Do I think he can be a solid player in the future if he continues to develop? Yes. Did I write at the end of the article that I think Tuinei is “worth signing”? Yes. Do I think he was a consistent player throughout his college career? No.

          I never said he isn’t improving, and I never said he isn’t worth taking a flier on.

          And yes, Tuinei was an incredible blocker as most receivers on the Ducks are. That’s one of the key components that makes the offense work, and I hope NFL teams have taken note of that as well.

          Thanks for the comments.