New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Jan 2, 2023; Orlando, FL, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Austin Burton (12) drops back to pass during the first quarter against the LSU Tigers at Camping World Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots held five free-agent workouts on Monday, and among them was a quarterback.

As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Patriots brought in former Purdue QB Austin Burton for a workout in Foxboro on Monday. Burton played the final three years of his college career with the Boilermakers, and also played UCLA prior to that, finishing as a sixth-year senior. He completed 64.3 percent of his passes for 273 yards and threw three touchdowns against two interceptions in six games for Purdue in 2022.

Burton also happens to be a native of Newton, Mass. and the son of longtime WBZ-TV Sports Director Steve Burton, who played quarterback at Northwestern from 1982-84. At Purdue, Austin Burton spent time as Purdue’s backup behind Aidan O’Connell, who is now the starting quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders after being drafted there in April.

But this is the most interest an NFL team has shown in Austin of late. He did get to have a workout at B.C.’s Pro Day in front of Patriots scouts.

The New England Patriots quarterback room could have a new addition coming in Austin Burton.

WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 24: Austin Burton #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers runs the ball during the first half against the Florida Atlantic Owls at Ross-Ade Stadium on September 24, 2022 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The Patriots quarterback room could be in need of another new face, if only for depth purposes. According to MassLive’s Chris Mason, the recently waived Will Grier is expected to “explore his options” after clearing waivers and becoming a free agent. Grier spent 10 weeks on the Patriots roster without seeing the field. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Sunday that the Pats waived Grier to make room for tackle Conor McDermott.

As of Monday evening, the Patriots have Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe on the 53-man roster, and rookie Malik Cunningham on the practice squad. It’s likely that, at this point, it’s still between Jones and Zappe as to who starts on Sundays.

Here’s a quick look at the Patriots’ other free-agent workouts on Monday…

  • TE Michael Ezeike

    Ezeike had his best college season as a senior at UCLA in 2022, catching 20 passes for 226 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games. The 6-foot-5, 243-pound Ezeike spent time with the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent, before being released in late August.

  • TE La’Michael Pettway

    Pettway was a bigger wide receiver at Arkansas and Iowa State in college, at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds, but he’s transitioned to becoming a smaller tight end at the NFL level. He signed with the Colts in August, but was waived eight days later after suffering an undisclosed injury. He’s also spent time with the Birmingham Stallions in the USFL.

  • TE Christian Sims

    Sims played four years at Bowling Green, and was fairly productive in his final two years, with 86 catches for 876 yards and four touchdowns over his last 23 games. He stands at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. Sims previously spent time in training camp with the Los Angeles Rams.

  • DB Cameron McCutcheon

    Like Sims, McCutcheon also spent time with the Rams in camp. He played his final two college seasons at Western Carolina, after transferring there from Gardner-Webb. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound McCutcheon made two interceptions and eight pass breakups in 22 games for WCU.

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    Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Check out all of Matt’s content here.

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