When the Patriots waived offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste Thursday, it closed the book on their 10-player 2019 draft class.
Cajuste, who signed his tender in March, was the last remaining player from the group, a third-round pick and No. 101 overall. Cutting him saved the team approximately $2.7 million in salary-cap space.
The Patriots’ top three picks in 2019, receiver N’Keal Harry (first round, 32d overall), cornerback Joejuan Williams (second round, 45th overall), and linebacker Chase Winovich (third round, 77th overall) had underwhelming stays in New England.
A hulking presence at 6 feet 4 inches and 225 pounds, Harry did not show the kind of physical dominance he displayed in college. He struggled to gain separation and had just 57 catches for 598 yards and 4 touchdowns in 33 games.
He was traded to the Bears last year and it was more of the same: seven catches in seven games. Harry is a free agent.
Williams, too, had trouble adjusting to the pro game. Brought in to matchup with bigger receivers, the 6-3, 212-pounder could not establish himself as part of the rotation in the secondary and didn’t contribute on special teams. He recently signed with the Vikings.
Winovich showed flashes, with 11 sacks in 45 games, but was ultimately traded to the Browns (for linebacker Mack Wilson) after it became clear his freelancing ways were not a good fit in New England’s schemes. He recently signed with the Texans.
Running back Damien Harris (third round, 87th overall) had a nice run in New England, despite myriad injuries, most notably to his hamstrings. In 38 games over four seasons, he amassed 2,094 rushing yards and 20 TDs. He signed with the Bills this offseason.
Guard Hjalte Froholdt (fourth round, 118th overall) missed his rookie season with a shoulder injury and played in eight games in 2022. He spent two seasons with the Browns and is now with the Cardinals.
Quarterback Jarrett Stidham (fourth round, 133d overall) was shipped to the Raiders after Mac Jones was drafted in 2021. He played in just eight games (all in relief) in New England.
Defensive tackle Byron Cowart, who signed with the Texans Thursday, played in 19 games (with 14 starts) in New England but also suffered several injuries.
Punter Jake Bailey (sixth round, 163d overall) earned All-Pro status in 2020 but was sidelined by a back injury and subsequently suspended in 2022. He was cut in the offseason and signed with the Dolphins.
Bailey claimed his back issue cropped up because he added squats to his routine, something he told the media in Miami he “didn’t really do my first three years in the league.” However, a league source confirmed in February that Bailey was a regular participant in the club’s training program, which included weekly squatting sessions.
The club’s final selection, cornerback Ken Webster (seventh round, 252d overall), was cut after training camp and has had stints with the Dolphins, 49ers, Jets, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.