It was reported yesterday that the New England Patriots signed defensive tackle John Drew, who was worked out by the team during minicamp. Both sides agreed to the terms of a contract, but ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss reports that a deal was never finalized and that the Patriots backed out of signing Drew for unknown reasons.
Drew played his college ball for North Carolina Central after being kicked off of the Duke football team for firing a gun on campus, and it’s all for the best that the Patriots decided against signing this guy. Honestly, the last thing we need is another player with gun issues and character concerns in his background, especially among camp bodies.
Despite not signing Drew, the Patriots were able to find the 90th man on the roster, and he is also a big-bodied defensive tackle in former Michigan State Spartans star nose tackle Rashad Anthony White. The 6’2″, 330 pound DT offers nothing as a pass rusher, but White does an excellent job of playing run defense and using his frame to swallow up blockers. White was an integral piece in Michigan State’s suffocating run defense, and he recorded 23 tackles last season for the Spartans. For my money, White is the better player than Drew anyway and doesn’t come with the baggage of being kicked off for firing a gun at school.
However, White was placed on the injured reserve earlier this offseason as a Pittsburgh Steelers UDFA before the Steelers decided to waive White from the IR. We don’t know the exact injury that White suffered from, but I would presume the Patriots didn’t sign a UDFA that will head into training camp injured.