Obi Melifonwu

New England Patriots sign seven players to reserve/future contracts

New England Patriots sign seven players to reserve/future contracts

The New England Patriots have taken the first step toward the 2020 offseason.

After being eliminated from the postseason by virtue of their 20-13 loss to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, the Patriots were free to sign players to reserve/future contracts. These deals ensure that the players signed will have a spot on the Patriots 90-man roster when the new league year officially begins in March.

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All of the Patriots signings came from their practice squad. These are the seven players they agreed to deals with:

  • WR Quincy Adeboyejo
  • LB Terez Hall
  • S Obi Melifonwu
  • DB Adarius Pickett
  • WR Devin Ross
  • DL Nick Thurman
  • OL Najee Toran

There name that most Patriots fans will be familiar with from this list is Melifonwu. The Massachusetts-born safety went to college at UConn and was a second-round pick of the Oakland Raiders in 2017. After being cut by the Raiders in 2018, he signed with the Patriots.

In two games as a member of the Patriots active roster, Melifonwu recorded three tackles. The 6-foot-4 athletic freak nearly won a roster spot with the team in 2019 but instead stayed on the practice squad. Now, he will get a chance to prove himself in another offseason with the team.

Of the signings, Adeboyejo is the only player besides Melifonwu that has been on an NFL game-day roster. He suited up for one game with the Baltimore Ravens back at the end of the 2017 season.

Patriots paying Obi Melifonwu insane amount to be on practice squad

Patriots paying Obi Melifonwu insane amount to be on practice squad

The New England Patriots may value one member of their practice squad a bit more than others. 

Safety Obi Melifonwu is reportedly making $645,000 to remain on the practice squad, which amounts to a weekly salary of $37,941, according to ESPN's Mike Reiss. 

The 25-year-old was released Monday in order to make room for newly-acquired Antonio Brown, but was re-signed Wednesday after clearing waivers. Melifonwu ultimately couldn't land a roster spot, and that's no surprise considering he had to compete against the likes of Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon and Devin McCourty. Regardless, it seems like Bill Belichick is keen on keeping Melifonwu around, especially considering Patrick Chung's legal situation could change at any moment. 

The Conn. native was a second-round pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2017 NFL Draft, and appeared in two games for the Patriots last season. 

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NFL Preseason: Which Patriots are on the roster bubble?

NFL Preseason: Which Patriots are on the roster bubble?

Now that Demaryius Thomas is off the PUP list, Josh Gordon has been reinstated and Julian Edelman is off the NFI list, what was looking like a thin group of Patriots wide receivers suddenly looks very different.

And considering that Jakobi Meyers has opened eyes with his preseason performance and N'Keal Harry was a first-round draft pick, the fight for roster spots is intense among other Patriots wideouts.

Can Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris, or Braxton Berrios do enough to secure a roster spot for the 2019 season? A good performance in New England's preseason game against the Panthers Thursday night would certainly help.

While that competition might be front and center, there are players fighting for jobs up and down the roster. Teams must cut rosters down to 53 players on August 31, so time is running short.

Phil Perry has been filing roster-projections throughout the offseason, and thinks several players are living squarely on the roster bubble.

Here's the Patriots Bubble Watch heading into the Panthers game.>>>>>

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