A familiar face is rejoining the Patriots’ crowded cornerback room.
New England on Tuesday re-signed veteran corner Tae Hayes, who appeared in two games for the team late last season.
The Patriots initially signed Hayes in late December after injuries to Jalen Mills, Jack Jones and Marcus Jones left them shorthanded at the position. The 25-year-old played 24 defensive snaps in a Week 17 win over the Miami Dolphins and eight in a Week 18 loss to the Buffalo Bills. New England then waived him after the season.
Hayes previously logged stints with Jacksonville, Miami, Minnesota, Arizona and Carolina. He’s appeared in 13 career games since entering the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2019, notching 16 tackles, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery. The Appalachian State product also played for the Birmingham Stallions in the United States Football League.
With Hayes back aboard, the Patriots’ cornerback group now consists of Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones, Myles Bryant, Shaun Wade, Quandre Mosely, Rodney Randle and 2023 draft picks Ameer Speed (sixth round) and Isaiah Bolden (seventh). Mills remains under contract, as well, though he reportedly plans to move to safety.
The Patriots, who began their offseason program last month, are set to hold their first full spring practice on May 22.