Patriots Sign Veteran Quarterback to Back Up Tom Brady: Report

Tom Brady, Bill Belichick

Getty The Patriots re-signed Cody Kessler to help back up Tom Brady

The New England Patriots are bringing back a familiar face.

According to Andrew Callahan of The Boston Herald, the Patriots have re-signed quarterback Cody Kessler after waiving him on Oct. 16. The move comes just days after the team traded defensive end Michael Bennett — meaning that Kessler is filling in Bennett’s roster spot.

“The Patriots re-signed quarterback Cody Kessler on Monday using the open roster spot created by their trade of defensive end Michael Bennett last week.

Kessler returns after spending three weeks with the Pats earlier this year, which ended with his release on Oct. 16. He did not see any game action as the third quarterback behind Tom Brady and rookie Jarrett Stidham. The fourth-year USC product spent his first two seasons with the Browns, then the 2018 season in Jacksonville before attempting to catch on with the Eagles this summer.”

Although Kessler didn’t receive any game action as a member of the Patriots, head coach Bill Belichick raved over the veteran quarterback’s quick ability to pick up the offense.

“Cody’s done a nice job for us,” Belichick said earlier this month. “He’s really smart. He’s come in here. He’s learned. I mean, he’s out there calling plays, signaling receivers, making adjustments like he’s been here longer than two weeks or whatever it is.”

Patriots Have to Cut One More Player to Activate N’Keal Harry

As Callahan notes in his article, the addition of Kessler is an important one because the Patriots will be forced to make a decision on rookie first-round draft pick wide receiver N’Keal Harry. New England has to activate Henry by Tuesday, Nov. 5 from injured reserve. If they don’t, Harry will be on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

If Harry is activated, that means that the Patriots will have to cut a player before then.

Considering the addition of Mohamed Sanu, the Patriots have less of a pressing need at receiver. Outside of Sanu, they already have established veterans in Phillip Dorsett and Julian Edelman eating up reps. That’s not even mentioning Jakobi Meyers, who has emerged as a receiving weapon for Tom Brady in recent weeks.

That would basically means that Harry is facing a lost season in his rookie year — whether he’s activated or not.

Wide receivers coach Joe Judge said Harry’s biggest problem right now is adjusting to game speed.

“The biggest thing is getting used to the speed of the game again. It’s different than running routes in rehab with trainers, and then all of a sudden you put Steph Gilmore across from him in one-on-one’s,” said Judge. “You have to get used to the speed of the defenses, reading the defenses, making the adjustments, so there’s a lot of things that go with that. He’s gotten better every day, he’s out there competing as hard as he can. He’s definitely out there with good enthusiasm, and we’re excited to have him out there.”

Patriots Not Likely to Make Another Trade Before Deadline

With the Patriots having already pulled off two major trades last week, Belichick doesn’t seem to be too inclined to make another trade before the deadline on Tuesday at 4 p.m ET with the team sitting pretty at 8-0.

“It’s hard to say. You need two teams to trade. I don’t know that anything would happen, but things can change in a hurry,” he said.