The New England Patriots are signing free-agent quarterback Jake Dolegala to their practice squad, a source told NESN.com on Monday night.
The Patriots already have Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jarrett Stidham on their active roster. Dolegala will add a fourth arm to the practice field.
Dolegala, who’s 6-foot-7, 242 pounds, went undrafted out of Central Connecticut last spring. He spent the last year with the Cincinnati Bengals before being waived Sept. 5.
He completed 37-of-61 passes for 347 yars with two touchdowns last preseason. He also rushed three times for 12 yards.
The Patriots currently have two open spots on their 53-man roster but no room on their practice squad, so they must make a corresponding move to officially add Dolegala.
Kicker Nick Folk and defensive tackle Xavier Williams reverted back to the Patriots’ practice squad Monday after being temporarily elevated for Sunday’s Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots’ practice squad is full at 16 players, but their active roster has just 51 players after offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste and wide receiver Gunner Olszewski were placed on injured reserve last week.
The Patriots could elect to officially sign Folk and/or Williams to their 53-man roster this week to make room for Dolegala.
If Folk and Williams were officially on the Patriots’ 53-man roster for Week 1, then their salaries would have been guaranteed for the 2020 NFL season. The Patriots used a loophole in the CBA to avoid handing out 100% termination pay if Folk or Williams were cut this season. If Folk or Williams are signed in Week 2 or later, then only 35% of their salaries are guaranteed.
Folk missed a 45-yard field goal in Week 1. He did make 3-of-3 extra-point attempts. Williams, filling in for Beau Allen, who is also on injured reserve, played nine snaps and made two tackles.
The Patriots also could elect to add another wide receiver to their 53-man roster with Olszewski on IR. The Patriots currently have four wide receivers on their practice squad — Kristian Wilkerson, Devin Ross, Isaiah Zuber and Mason Kinsey — and four on their 53-man roster — Julian Edelman, Damiere Byrd, N’Keal Harry and Jakobi Meyers.
Edelman caught five passes for 57 yards and carried the ball once for 23 yards while only playing 58 percent of offensive snaps. Byrd wasn’t targeted while leading receivers with 56 snaps. Harry caught five passes for 36 yards on 51 snaps. Meyers also wasn’t targeted on seven snaps.
The Patriots could use additional depth at tight end, as well. Ryan Izzo started and played 63 of 64 possible snaps while catching one pass in the Patriots’ season opener. Rookie Devin Asiasi played 10 snaps but wasn’t targeted. Rookie Dalton Keene was inactive after being listed as questionable with a neck injury. The Patriots used rookie offensive linemen Mike Onwenu and Justin Herron as jumbo tight ends in certain packages. The Patriots have Jake Burt on their practice squad.
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