The New England Patriots decided to make 11 roster moves today to bring down the total of players to 77 as they anticipate a final crackdown tomorrow by 4 p.m. ET to a total of 75 players. Although most of their moves were, as expected, about trimming things down, the New England Patriots did re-sign two familiar UDFAs in Rutgers product Scott Vallone and former Penn State standout Stephon Morris. ESPN Boston reported that the Patriots would be signing Morris, and they have indeed brought back the cornerback who had a promising career at PSU.
Morris is like a few other cornerbacks on the roster, because he is a smaller corner who is mostly known for run defense and ball skills. I like the decision to bring back Morris for a shot, and I believe that the wheels were in motion for his return to Foxboro. He reportedly had a hamstring injury and was released on the 1st of August, and I think the release came with the stipulation that Morris would be signed once he returned to full health. Apparently he is a full go now, and the Patriots will want to see how he does against the New York Giants on Thursday. Morris replaces Brandon Jones and LeQuan Lewis on the roster, and he is probably a better player than Jones and clearly a better option than Lewis.
Scott Vallone is a Rutgers product who was a four-year starter for the Scarlet Knights and had a high amount of college production as an interior pass rusher. The defensive tackle lacks physical tools as far as speed, strength, and athleticism go, but he is smart and has a great motor. Vallone’s best shot is making the practice squad, so we’ll see if that comes to fruition. He was first signed by the New England Patriots on the first day of August and was subsequently released last week before returning today.