Watching the NFL games Sunday it seemed like I kept hearing the name of one former Patriot after another.
Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts
Signed as a rookie UDFA with Patriots in 1996
Appeared in 160 games for Patriots from 1996-2005, scoring 1,158 points
Signed with Indy as a free agent March 22, 2006
Vinatieri was a perfect 3/3 on field goals and had 12 points in Indy’s three point victory at Tennessee on Thursday; that earned him AFC Special Team Player Of The Week honors. Adam now needs just three more field goals to move into seventh place all time with Jason Elam for the most field goals in NFL history.
Ray Ventrone, San Francisco 49ers
Signed with Pats as a rookie UDFA in 2005
Spent 2005 on the practice squad; allocated to Europe in 2006; released in February of 2007; re-signed in September and was on and off 53-man roster and practice squad in 2007 and 2008
Bubba has appeared in all ten games this season, exclusively on special teams; the ST ace had a fumble recovery Sunday in the 49ers loss to the Saints.
Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears
Signed with Pats as a rookie UDFA in 2005
Released August 31, 2005
Signed with Chicago October 8, 2005
Gould kicked his 11th career game-winning field goal as the Bears beat the Ravens in overtime, 23-20. The Penn State alum now needs just 14 more points to become the 51st player in NFL history with 1,000 points scored in his career.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
Acquired in trade from Miami March 1, 2007
372 receptions with Pats 2007-12
Signed with Denver March 13, 2013
Wes suffered a neck injury and was later diagnosed with a concussion last week. On the season Welker has 61 catches, which is 6th best in the NFL, 648 yards (23rd) and nine touchdown receptions (4th).
Darius Butler, Indianapolis Colts
2nd round draft pick in 2009
Played in 31 games with 8 starts in 2009-10
Released September 6, 2011
Played with Carolina in 2011, Colts since 2012
The slot corner in Indy had two solo tackles and a pass defensed in last week’s victory against the Titans. For the season Butler has 23 tackles (20 solo) with two interceptions (one a 41-yard pick-six; the other sealed the victory against Seattle), nine passes defensed and one tackle for a loss.
Jeff Tarpinian, Houston Texans
Signed with Pats as a rookie UDFA July 27, 2011
Appeared in seven games with one start in 2011, and three games in 2012
Also spent part of 2012 on Pats practice squad
Released September 4, 2013
Tarpinian had 7 tackles and 4 assists, both single-game career highs in Houston’s loss to the Raiders. The former Iowa Hawkeye also had one pass defensed and one tackle for a loss.
Marcus Benard, Arizona Cardinals
Veteran free agent signed by Pats January 24, 2012
Released August 30, 2013
Signed by Arizona October 2
Benard had two solo tackles and a pass defensed in Arizona’s victory at Jacksonville. On the season Benard has appeared in six games with seven tackles (all solo), with one sack and one pass defensed.
Patrick Chung, Philadelphia Eagles
2nd round draft pick in 2009
Appeared in 57 regular and post season games with the Pats from 2009-2012, with 19 starts
Signed with Philadelphia March 12, 2013
Chung missed three games with a shoulder injury (surprise!) earlier this year, and left Sunday’s game with another shoulder injury – and a bitten tongue. Chung has appeared in seven games for the Eagles with 12 solo tackles, 24 total tackles, one tackle for a loss, and one pass defensed – but for the most part has been a liability in coverage. Shocking, I know.
James Ihedigbo, Baltimore Ravens
Signed with the Pats as a free agent August 19, 2011
Played in all 19 regular and post season games, with 18 starts
Ihedigbo made it to the highlight reel for the wrong reason two weeks ago when he tipped a Hail Mary pass up in the air, which A.J. Green caught to force overtime. Despite the memorable gaffe, on the season Ihedigbo has played reasonably well, with two picks, a forced fumble, and 61 tackles (40 solo).
Asante Samuel, Atlanta Falcons
Fourth round draft pick by the Pats in 2003
Appeared in 73 games with Pats from 2003-07, with 22 interceptions, 79 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and three touchdowns.
Signed with Philadelphia on the first day of free agency in 2008
Samuel has been relatively quiet on an Atlanta defense that ranks 29th in both yards per pass (8.1) and points allowed (29.2); on the season he has one interception, one forced fumble and three passes defensed.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals
Signed with Pats as a rookie UDFA May 2, 2008
2,064 yards rushing in 53 games 2008-11
Signed with Cincinnati March 21, 2012
The Law Firm had 62 yards rushing in Cincy’s victory over Cleveland. He has been playing with a broken thumb since week two and also battling an ankle injury, splitting reps at running back with Gionvani Bernard. Although BJGE is averaging only 3.3 yards per carry, he does lead the Bengals with 522 yards rushing and is second on the club with 30 first downs.
Brandon Tate, Cincinnati Bengals
Third round draft pick in 2009 draft
Two kick returns and three pass receptions for touchdowns in 18 games with Pats 2009-10
Released September 3, 2011
Claimed off waivers by Bengals September 4, 2011
Tate is strictly a special teams player – he has only one reception this year – ranking 5th in the NFL with 548 yards on kickoff returns, and 8th in the league with 26.1 yards per return. Tate has also returned 24 punts (7th) for 199 yards (13th), averaging 8.3 yards per return (15th).
Jake Ballard, Arizona Cardinals
Claimed by Pats off waivers June 12, 2012
Released August 30, 2013
Signed by Arizona November 4
Ballard appeared in his second NFL game since blowing out his knee almost two years ago, with one catch for 29 yards; on the season he has two receptions for 44 yards.
Brandon Meriweather, Washington Redskins
First round draft pick of the 2007 draft by the Patriots
Appeared in 64 games for Pats 2007-2010, making the Pro Bowl twice
Big Bang Clock made headlines by saying he would go after opponent’s knees, in response to being fined for hits to the head. Since departing he has struggled to stay on the field, missing 22 games in the last two-plus seasons; during that time he has a total of two interceptions and five passes defensed.
Danny Woodhead, San Diego Chargers
Signed September 18, 2010
14 touchdowns with Pats 2010-2012
Signed by San Diego March 15, 2013
Woody was surprisingly a non-factor in the Chargers loss at Miami, with only five carries for 21 yards and two catches for 16 yards; San Diego for some reason often went with Ronnie Brown on third downs. On the season Woodhead is averaging 24.1 yards rushing and 42.4 yards receiving per game, and has a total of five touchdowns.
Rich Ohrnberger, San Diego Chargers
Fourth round draft pick by Pats in 2009
Appeared in five games with Pats 2009-11
Released February 22, 2012
Signed with Chargers March 21, 2013
The locker room comedian has filled in due to injuries in four games (146 offensive snaps this year), with one start. Last year in Arizona Ohrnberger appeared in 13 games with four starts, both career highs.
Ben Watson, New Orleans Saints
First round draft pick by the Pats in 2004
Signed with Cleveland as a free agent March 12, 2010
167 receptions for 2,102 yards and 20 TD 2004-09
Watson suffered a concussion and did not play in week 11. With Jimmy Graham available, Watson doesn’t get many passes thrown his way, though he does get about 30-35 snaps per game. His best day of the year was against the Pats when he had three catches for 61 yards; on the season he has 12 receptions for 160 yards and one touchdown in nine games.
Tiquan Underwood, Tampa Bay Bucs
Signed with Pats August 29, 2011
Appeared in 6 games with Pats, with 3 catches for 30 yards
Released May 3, 2012 to make room for Jabar Gaffney
Signed with Bucs May 7, 2012
Underwood has seen some playing time since Mike Williams went on IR, averaging 54 snaps over the last four game – though his stat sheet is still rather modest. On the season he has appeared in six games, with ten receptions for 166 yards and one touchdown; in last week’s win against Atlanta he had one catch for 20 yards.
Spencer Larsen, Tampa Bay Bucs
Signed with Pats March 22, 2012
Placed on IR August 27, 2012
Released March 4, 2013
Larsen has bounced back and forth on the Bucs roster, signing with Tampa Bay three times and being released twice. When he re-signed September 10 after FB Erik Lorig was injured, the Bucs made room by releasing DT Chris Jones – who was in turn signed by the Patriots. Larsen has been a core player on all four special team units for Tampa Bay, but has seen only 23 offensive snaps this year.
Ted Larsen, Tampa Bay Bucs
Sixth round draft pick in 2010
Released September 4, 2010
Claimed off waivers by Bucs September 5, 2010
Last year Larsen was replaced by Jarmon Meredith at guard, and three wekks ago Larsen was replaced by Jeremy Zuttah as the starting center. In both cases the Bucs offensive line performed noticeably better after the change was made.
Sergio Brown, Indianapolis Colts
Signed as a rookie UDFA April 29, 2010
Played in 26 games with three starts in 2010-11
Released August 31, 2012
Claimed off waivers by Colts September 1
Brown has eight tackles (seven solo) and one fumble recovery (in win over Denver) in ten games this year, playing almost exclusively on special teams.
Landon Cohen, Chicago Bears
Signed as a free agent December 22, 2010
Played in two regular season and one playoff game, with one start
Released September 27, 2011
Signed by Bears September 27, 2013
After having played with Dallas, the Bears signed Cohen due to a season ending injury to DT Nate Collins. Cohen has appeared in nine games this season with 11 tackles (six solo) and two tackles for a loss as a backup to Stephen Paea and Corey Wootton.
Brandon Deaderick, Jacksonville Jaguars
7th round draft pick, 2010
Played in 34 games with Pats 2010-2012
Released May 13, 2013
Claimed off waivers by Jacksonville May 14, 2013
No stats Sunday, but has appeared in all ten games this year for the Jaguars. Deaderick has seven tackles (five solo), one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one pass defensed on the year.
Tony Fiammetta, Chicago Bears
Signed March 26, 2012
Left team August 5, 2012
Reinstated March 18, 2013
Released April 29, 2013
Signed by Chicago June 10 after Evan Rodriguez was arrested and released. As a blocking back he has almost no stats, but he is averaging 14 snaps per game on offense, plus about a half dozen more on special teams.
Derrick Martin, Chicago Bears
Signed by Patriots August 4, 2012 and released August 31
Re-signed by the Pats October 31
Appeared in five games for New England in 2012
The Bears re-signed Martin November 13 to take the place of Peanut Tillman, who was placed on in-season IR. Martin had been signed by Chicago August 11 and released August 25; the Bears are the 5th NFL team Martin has played for in his eight years in the league.
Paris Lenon, Denver Broncos
Signed by Patriots May 27, 2009
Released September 5, 2009
The 12-year pro doesn’t get much playing time serving as the backup to Wesley Woodyard. In eight games Lenon has 12 tackles (7 solo) and two passes defensed.
Tony Carter, Denver Broncos
Free agent spent most of 2010 On Pats practice squad
Appeared in final three games of 2010 with Pats
Released July 28, 2011
Carter began the season well, with a pick and eight passes defensed in the first two games. The next week he got his second start of the season but left with an ankle injury and then had a bad game in week four against Dallas. Since then Carter has had almost no playing time, and has been inactive in four of the last five games, including Sunday against the Chiefs. For the season Carter has appeared in six games with ten tackles (nine solo), one tackle for a loss, one interception and four passes defensed.
Greg Salas, New York Jets
Acquired in exchange for a 7th round draft pick on September 1, 2012
Appeared in one game, with no stats for Patriots
Released November 22, 2012
Salas was active but did not have any passes thrown his way Sunday – not that it would have mattered, considering Geno Smith’s day. On the season Salas has been targeted five times, with four receptions for 89 yards. He has been active for just two games, getting 49 reps on offense and 14 on special teams.
Zach Sudfeld, New York Jets
Signed by Pats as a rookie UDFA May 3, 2013
Released October 3, 2013
Claimed off waivers by Jets October 4, 2013
Similar to Salas, Sudfeld also had a blank stat sheet Sunday. Since joining the Jets the big tight end has four receptions on six targets, for 56 yards and three first downs. After getting extensive playing time the previous two weeks (38 offensive snaps at Cincinnati, 49 versus New Orleans), Sudfeld received only three offensive snaps in the loss at Buffalo.
Kellen Winslow, New York Jets
Signed with Patriots on September 18, 2012
Released September 27, 2012
In his first game after returning from a four-game suspension, Winslow was on the field for only 11 snaps; he had one catch for 17 yards. For the season Winslow has 18 receptions for 186 yards and two touchdowns. In his illustrious one-game career with the Patriots The Soldier had one catch for twelve yards.
Matt Cassel, Minnesota Vikings
7th round draft pick in 2005
Appeared in 33 games with 15 starts for the Pats in 2005-08
Cassel has statistically been the Vikings best quarterback this year, but Leslie Frazier seems to be committed to Christian Ponder (or at least giving him an extended tryout) after the failed Josh Freeman experiment. Cassel has completed 65% of his passes with four touchdowns and three picks, going 1-1 in his two starts and 2-2 in the four games he has appeared in this year.
Andre Holmes, Oakland Raiders
Signed with the Pats to a futures contract January 8, 2013
Released May 10, 2013
The Raiders claimed the 6’4″ Holmes off waivers after he was cut by the Pats in May. Holmes was activated October 7, replacing Matt Flynn, after serving a four-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, but has missed time due to a hamstring injury. He has appeared in four games this year, with one reception for 33 yards.
Jeff Demps, Tampa Bay Bucs
Signed as a rookie UDFA August 17, 2012
Traded to Tampa Bay for LaGarrette Blount April 27, 2013
Appeared in two games for Tampa Bay before going on IR. 2013 stat line: 1 rush for 14 yards, 3 receptions for 21 yards, 4 kick returns for 93 yards.
Brian Hoyer, Cleveland Browns
Signed with Pats as a rookie UDFA April 30, 2009
Played in 13 games 2009-11
Released September 1, 2012
Hoyer gave the Browns a spark, going 3-0 as their starting quarterback before his season ended with a torn ACL October 3.
Taylor Price, Jacksonville Jaguars
Third round draft pick by Pats in 2010
Appeared in four games with Pats in 2010-11
Released December 3, 2011
Claimed off waivers by Jags December 4, 2011
After being inactive for his first 15 games, Price caught three Brian Hoyer passes for 41 yards in the final game of the 2010 season. For the second consecutive year Price was waived/injured in early August, and placed on injured reserve. In his NFL career Price has a total of five receptions for 80 yards.
Dan Koppen, Denver Broncos
Drafted by the Pats in the 5th round in 2003
Started 120 games for Pats from 2003-11
Koppen suffered a torn ACL during training camp, causing him to go on IR and miss the entire season. That marks the second time in three years his season was cut short; in 2011 he broke his ankle in the first game of the year in what turned out to be his final game with the Patriots. The BC grad will turn 35 when the season kicks off next year; there is a good chance that his career is over.
Donald Thomas, Indianapolis Colts
Signed with Pats September 14, 2011
Appeared in 26 games with 7 starts 2011-12
Thomas, who was originally signed by the Patriots due to Dan Koppen going on IR, made the most of his opportunity and parlayed that into a nice payday (four years, $14 million, with $3.5 million guaranteed), went on injured reserve himself back in week two with a quadriceps injury to his right leg.
Brian Waters, Dallas Cowboys
Signed September 4, 2011 with Pats
Released April 30, 2013
Nine weeks after signing with Dallas, Waters suffered a torn triceps and was placed on IR. Although the Cowboys are saying that they would welcome his return, that seems doubtful as Water will turn 37 before the start of the new NFL year.
Will Yeatman, Miami Dolphins
Signed with Pats as a rookie UDFA July 27, 2011
Waived September 3, 2011
Yeatman was placed on injured reserve November 16 with a torn ACL, ending his season; he had been employed as a backup swing tackle and occasionally used as an extra lineman in short yardage situations. In his three years in Miami Yeatman has appeared in 15 games with two starts; this season he was on the field for 18 offensive snaps and 70 special teams plays.
Jason Vega, Dallas Cowboys
Signed with Pats January 26, 2013
Released August 13, 2013
Vega was signed by Dallas August 21, released during roster cuts, and signed to their practice squad. On October 18 he was promoted to the 53-man roster, but has not seen any playing time.
Free Agents and Practice Squad Players
Jermaine Cunningham – signed with Jets Nov 20; had been signed by 49ers October 1 and was released October 29
Ras-I Dowling – signed by Jets to their practice squad October 23
Steve Maneri – released by Bears October 21 to make room for QB Palmer Jordan after Jay Cutler’s injury; appeared in four games with Chicago this year.
Zoltan Mesko – released by Steelers October 29; had been signed September 2
Trevor Scott – released by Bucs October 24; had been signed August 20
George Winn – released by Steelers from their practice squad November 19. Winn was signed by the Pats as a rookie UDFA June 17, and cut August 31. The Raiders signed Winn to their practice squad October 2 and released him October 15; Pittsburgh then signed him to their practice squad October 22.
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