New England Patriots

New England Patriots

NFL free agency is about a month away, but teams around the league will tinker with their rosters leading up to the new league year. That includes the New England Patriots, who made a trio of moves on Wednesday.

As first reported by Field Yates of ESPN, the Patriots have waived wide receiver Kristian Wilkerson, defensive back Tae Hayes, and kicker Quinn Nordin. All three players were on minimal contracts so these moves won’t have massive salary cap implications. According to Patriots salary cap expert Miguel Benzan, the move increased the team’s cap number for the start of free agency by $260K.

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  • Wilkerson was signed by the Patriots after training camp in his rookie year in 2020. He ended up on the practice squad but played one game that season, and then had two more practice squad elevations in 2021 including a two-touchdown performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    It looked like he was going to have a chance to make the roster in 2022, but suffered a concussion late in training camp and ended up on season-ending IR. Because he missed the season Wilkerson’s contract tolled, which would have kept him under team control in 2023.

  • Nordin was the Patriots’ lone UDFA signing in 2021. Competing with Nick Folk that summer he turned in some impressive performances, but struggled with accuracy at times. He did make the initial roster, but was placed on IR then later released and re-signed to the practice squad. He spent all of last season on the NFI list, after being waived with a non-football injury designation in June. Like Wilkerson, Nordin’s contract was set to toll to 2023.

    Hayes is a four-year NFL veteran who signed with the Patriots’ practice squad late last year. He was soon promoted to the active roster, and appeared in two games at the end of the season playing 32 total snaps. Hayes was originally signed to a two-year deal, so this move opens up a roster spot.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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