The New England Patriots have claimed an undrafted free agent defensive tackle from the Miami Dolphins in A.J. Francis, according to ESPN Boston’s Field Yates. Francis has presumably made the Patriots roster as the fourth defensive tackle, because the Pats looked thin at the position following the release of Marcus Forston yesterday. Joe Vellano would have been the only healthy backup to the excellent starting duo of Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, as Armond Armstead is currently on the NFI with an infection. Armstead will have to miss six games before coming back, as the NFI operates like the PUP list.
It was previously reported by the Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley that the Dolphins signed A.J. Francis to the practice squad after he turned down a contract offer from the New England Patriots. However, Yates reports that the Patriots have claimed Francis off of waivers (which has to be true given that players signed right now are actually claimed off of waivers), and that makes Beasley’s report seemingly impossible. A player who is claimed off of waivers has no choice but to sign with that team, correct? I might be wrong here, but I think that’s how it works (for the record, I’m not being sarcastic).
Francis, like Vellano, is an undrafted DT out of Maryland, so that’s an interesting bit of trivia there. The Patriots really needed another DT on the roster, and it looks like Francis is their man right now.
The Boston Globe’s Ben Volin reports that Illinois UDFA cornerback Justin Green has been signed onto the Patriots practice squad, and this is a move that was fully expected following Green’s release yesterday. He isn’t 53-man roster material, but he is clearly worth stashing onto the practice squad after showing flashes in August. Volin’s report confirms an earlier report from Globe colleague Shalise Manza Young yesterday.
Aaron Wilson reports that the New England Patriots have placed Jeff Tarpinian on the practice squad, and this was a move that was also fully expected. Tarpinian’s cut was announced closer to the deadline than most of the other cuts, so it actually looked like he somehow stuck onto the roster as a seventh linebacker. Tarpinian is in a perfect spot on the practice squad, as his run defense makes him a decent depth LB, and he’s also excellent on special teams.