The New England Patriots have claimed another interior offensive lineman off of waivers, according to a report from the Reno Gazette-Journal’s Chris Murray. The Patriots have reportedly signed former Nevada Wolfpack offensive guard Chris Barker to the 53-man roster, and that gives the Patriots ten offensive linemen on the roster. What is even more interesting is the fact that this is the Patriots third reported waiver claim, which means that they had to have cut at least one person in order to have 53 players on the roster. As it stands right now, the Patriots have 54 players on the roster based on the reports of the signings of Chris Barker, center Braxston Cave from the Cleveland Browns, and former Miami Dolphins defensive tackle A.J. Francis.
Barker is another waiver claim from the Miami Dolphins, and the Patriots seem to be stocking up on quality UDFAs from their AFC East rivals. Both Barker and Francis look like talented finds from undrafted free agency, and Francis certainly has a spot set for him on the roster. The Patriots were thin at defensive tackle, and Francis is set to be the No. 4 DT behind fellow Maryland UDFA Joe Vellano.
The signing of Barker is certainly interesting due to all the players on the line, and it looks like the Nevada product is set to displace Kent State UDFA Josh Kline, who was able to sneak onto the roster. NEPD’s Mike Loyko tweeted that Will Svitek’s absence from practice today (he doesn’t seem to be injured) could mean that the Patriots have cut him, but I believe that would leave them too thin at tackle. Svitek played some guard this preseason (well, a lot of guard actually, and he really struggled at an unnatural position for him), but he’s definitely a tackle and is only an emergency guard. I would be surprised to see Svitek cut, but Loyko’s insight certainly points towards the direction of him seeing his walking papers with ten OLs. I’d much rather keep Svitek than Kline, who should be on the practice squad, but we’ll see how things shake out after this Barker signing.
Ja’Gared Davis was claimed by the Patriots a couple of days before the 53-man cutdown, as he was cut during the 75-man cutdown by the Houston Texans. Davis was always expected to make the practice squad, and Aaron Wilson reports that the Patriots have signed Davis to the p-squad.