New England Patriots

Aug 14, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Josh Watson (54) and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (15) battle for a tipped ball during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Patriots continue to tweak their roster as training camp continues to roll on. On Tuesday, they announced two signings on defense while hosting two other players for workouts.

    Safeties Jalen Elliott and Brad Hawkins both practiced with the team Tuesday morning, with their signings being made official Tuesday afternoon. Both had been in Foxborough for free agent workouts on Monday.

    Elliott entered the league as a UDFA out of Notre Dame in 2020 with the Lions. At that time, Matt Patricia was still the head coach in Detroit. He spent his whole rookie season on the practice squad, but appeared eight games for the team in 2021 making one start. In those eight games, he played 16 percent of the team’s defense snaps and 68 percent of the special teams snaps. He was released by Detroit back in May.

    Hawkins in a rookie UDFA who initially signed with the Falcons. After going through spring practices, he was released by Atlanta last month. In his college career at Michigan he played in 56 games, starting 31. He was primarily used as a deep safety but can play in the box and also has experience as a slot corner.

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  • In addition to signing two safeties, the Patriots also hosted two free agent linebackers for workouts in Josh Watson and Nate Wieland. ESPN’s Mike Reiss first reported the workouts.

    Watson first played for the Broncos as a UDFA in 2019. The former Colorado State Ram appeared in 17 games over two seasons for Denver, almost exclusively appearing on special teams. After practice squad stints with the Chargers and Panthers to star the 2021 season, he ended up in Houston where he played two games for the Texans in a kick coverage role.

    Wieland spent time with the Patriots this spring as a non-roster invitee to rookie minicamp. His college career began at Iowa, before transferring to NAIA Grand View where he named an All-American in 2020.

    UPDATE: The Patriots have signed Wieland, who was at practice on Wednesday. PFF’s Doug Kyed was first to report the signing.

    Nothing has been announced regarding Watson or Wieland signing a contract with the team. But like with Elliott and Hawkins, if there are new players at camp tomorrow morning it’s likely one of those two. The team still has three open spots on the 90-man roster.