Jordan Richards

NFL rumors: Patriots to release safety Jordan Richards amid roster changes

NFL rumors: Patriots to release safety Jordan Richards amid roster changes

Jordan Richards' second stint with the New England Patriots lasted three weeks.

ESPN's Field Yates reported Tuesday the Patriots are releasing the 26-year-old defensive back

Richards was selected by the Patriots in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft and didn't earn a second contract with New England after the 2017 season. He played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018 before being signed by the Patriots earlier this month. He primarily served in a special teams role for New England over the last three weeks.

The Patriots reportedly are signing special teams ace Justin Bethel, who visited the team Tuesday. He has earned two All-Pro first team selections and three Pro Bowl nods as a special teams star. Bethel is an upgrade over Richards in that phase of the game. 

New England also traded for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Mohamed Sanu in exchange for a 2020 draft pick Tuesday. The additions of Sanu and Bethel, combined with Richards' release still leaves one more roster spot that must be opened by the Pats. Stay tuned.

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Patriots rule Rex Burkhead, Patrick Chung and Nate Ebner out for Sunday

Patriots rule Rex Burkhead, Patrick Chung and Nate Ebner out for Sunday

The Patriots have downgraded running back Rex Burkhead and safeties Patrick Chung and Nate Ebner to out for the game Sunday against the Washington Redskins, the team announced Saturday.

Burkhead has a foot injury, starting safety Chung an injured heel and Ebner, a core special teams player, a groin injury. They were originally listed as questionable on the Friday injury report. 

The Patriots re-signed safety Jordan Richards this week, likely because of the Ebner and Chung injuries. Richards, a second-round pick of New England from Stanford in 2015, was cut by the Oakland Raiders in training camp. 

With Burkhead out, Sony Michel and James White could get additional snaps, along with Brandon Bolden and perhaps rookie running back Damien Harris, a third-round pick from Alabama (87th overall) whose playing time has been limited to four special teams snaps in the win over the Jets two weeks ago. 

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NFL rumors: Patriots are signing Jordan Richards with open roster spot

NFL rumors: Patriots are signing Jordan Richards with open roster spot

Jordan Richards is back with the New England Patriots.

ESPN's Field Yates reported Wednesday morning the Patriots are signing safety Jordan Richards, who they originally selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Richards struggled with the Patriots as a safety and never earned a second contract with the team. He left the Patriots after the 2017 season and played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. Richards spent training camp in July and August with the Oakland Raiders before being among their final cuts before Week 1.

The Stanford product joins a Patriots secondary that's arguably the deepest of all the positional groups on the roster. ESPN's Mike Reiss notes Richards could fill a special teams role instead of one on defense.

Richards fills the open roster spot created Tuesday when the Patriots waived offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch.

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