Report: Patriots hosting two veteran defenders for FA workouts

Taylor Rapp

The New England Patriots' work isn't done.

The Patriots reportedly added wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Robinson in free agency Wednesday, and now they're turning their attention to the other side of the ball. New England is hosting linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and safety Taylor Rapp for workouts Thursday, as reported by The Score's Jordan Schultz and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Is JuJu Smith-Schuster really an upgrade over Jakobi Meyers?

Van Ginkel spent the previous four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, recording 47 tackles, 0.5 sacks, one interception (returned for a touchdown) and two passes defensed in 2022. His most productive seasons came in 2020 and 2021 under then-head coach Brian Flores; the 27-year-old Wisconsin product started in 25 of a possible 33 games in that span, amassing 111 tackles and 9.5 sacks.

Rapp is the more productive player: The 25-year-old racked up 330 tackles, nine interceptions and 23 passes defensed over four seasons with the Rams and started every game for Los Angeles over the past two seasons.

The Patriots' interest in Rapp makes sense after Devin McCourty's retirement earlier this month. The team re-signed Jabrill Peppers in free agency, but Rapp is an excellent tackler who could slot in alongside strong safety Kyle Dugger in New England's defensive backfield.

The Patriots still have just under $ 20 million in cap space, per OverTheCap, so expect them to continue to be aggressive in free agency.