As preparations for their Week 1 game against the Steelers continued, the Patriots brought seven players, including six defensive backs, in for a Tuesday workout at Gillette Stadium, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
The Patriots had the following free agents in for workouts today:— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 3, 2019
DB Chris Campbell (Penn State)
CB Tevaughn Campbell (Regina)
DB Su'a Cravens (USC)
DB Lenzy Pipkins (Oklahoma State)
DB KeiVarae Russell (Notre Dame)
DB Arrion Springs (Oregon)
TE Jason Vander Laan (Ferris State)
Campbell came to the Patriots after being signed for and playing in one preseason game for the 49ers before getting cut on Aug. 30. The 23-year-old Campbell also spent time with the Cardinals and Saints (practice squad) before that.
Lenzy Pipkins spent the 2019 preseason with the Browns (he had six tackles in four games before he was cut), and has NFL experience to his name, with 23 tackles in 13 games between the Packers and Colts.
Cornerback KeiVarae Russell, a third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2016, has 20 tackles and an interception in 20 career NFL games (all with the Bengals), and was cut by Cincy on Aug. 31.
If the name Arrion Springs rings a bell, it’s because he’s legitimately bounced all over the NFL over the last year plus, spending time with the Browns, Chiefs, Saints, and most recently, the Los Angeles Chargers.
Tevaughn Campbell, meanwhile, has CFL experience, and was most recently with the Jets.
Prior to this report from Reiss (and a few others), the Cravens workout was the only one previously known, thanks to a report from the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The noticeable trend with the workouts is absolutely the amount of defensive backs Belichick and Co. invited for a look.
What that means is anybody’s guess. This could be the Patriots simply looking for potential reinforcements in the wake of the Duke Dawson and Keion Crossen trades. It could be a commentary on the Patrick Chung situation (Chung did not play at all in the preseason due to injury and has legal problems in New Hampshire on the docket). Or it could simply be the Patriots performing due diligence in the event that injuries strike and leave them scrambling for help.
The team also worked out tight end Jason Vander Laan, according to Reiss. The 6-foot-3 Vander Laan spent the 2019 preseason with the Panthers, and had three grabs for 22 yards before he was released last weekend.
The Patriots begin their 2019 season with a banner-raising game on Sunday Night Football.