As of Sunday evening, the Patriots had signed zero undrafted free agents.
The lack of acquisitions is a little surprising, given the team’s history with such players. As coach Bill Belichick noted Saturday evening, the Patriots have found success picking up contributors that were initially passed over in the draft.
On this year’s roster alone, eight players — center David Andrews, running back Brandon Bolden, fullback Jakob Johnson, cornerback J.C. Jackson, cornerback Jonathan Jones, wide receiver Jakobi Meyers, wide receiver Gunner Olszewski, and running back J.J. Taylor — all first signed with the Patriots as undrafted free agents.
Other notable signings include defensive tackle Adam Butler and cornerback Malcolm Butler, who both now play for other teams. An undrafted rookie has made New England’s 53-man roster in each of the past 16 seasons.
After the Patriots made their final pick in the seventh round on Saturday, Belichick indicated the team planned to evaluate the pool of available players.
“We’ll just take the free agency process with the undrafted players as it comes and see how that goes and just keep working through things,” he said. “There’s still a lot of work to be done. We certainly had players come to our team after the draft process is over.”
Last season, the Patriots signed 16 undrafted free agents. In 2019, they signed 11. In 2018, they signed 10. The number was likely going to be lower this season because fewer prospects signed with an agent than in a typical year.
The Patriots have 84 of their 90 roster spots filled, though that number includes safety Patrick Chung, whose retirement has not yet been made official.
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The Patriots have until Monday to exercise the fifth-year options on running back Sony Michel’s and offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn’s contracts. The options are for the 2022 season, and would allow the Patriots to retain their 2018 first-round picks for five years instead of the standard four. Michel’s option is worth $4.5 million, while Wynn’s is worth $10.4 million.
Nicole Yang can be reached at email@example.com.