After Dan Vitale and Najee Toran opted out of the 2020 NFL season, the New England Patriots quickly moved to fill the gap by bringing back one of their more promising undrafted free agents that was just released two days ago.
Will Hastings was the man lucky enough to have his name called. The versatile wide receiver was a former college teammate of Jarrett Stidham and has been referred to as the second-year pro’s “security blanket.”
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Patriots Re-Sign Will Hastings
The Patriots wasted less than two hours informing Hastings he’d be back with the team in light of the opt-out decisions from Vitale and Toran. Hastings is an interesting player because he arrived at Auburn as a kicker. He is listed at that position for the first two years of his career before being transitioned to a receiver for his junior and senior seasons.
Hasting’s stats do not jump off the page.
In his college career, which consisted of him lining up as a receiver for all or parts of three seasons, he compiled 56 receptions for 845 yards and six touchdowns. Quite honestly, many of the top prospects at receiver surpassed those numbers in one season. He missed all of 2018 with injury after enjoying the best year of his college career in 2017 when Stidham found him 26 times for 525 yards and four touchdowns.
Perhaps the two men can find similar chemistry, or Hastings can become something similar to Cam Newton whom most believe will become the team’s starter.
More Signings and Opt-Outs on the Way?
It would appear the Patriots’ roster may not be done morphing and transitioning. There is still one more slot to fill as both Vitale and Toran opted out, and the Patriots only brought back Hastings at this point. They cannot bring back one of the undrafted free agents they let go, Kyahva Tezino. He was one of the most promising guys the team cut to get down to 80, but the Carolina Panthers quickly snatched him up on Monday.
There are rumors the team could suddenly be down an offensive lineman, and eyes are on other positions as we try to determine whether there will be more opt-outs, perhaps some positive COVID-19 tests or some unforeseen issues that cause a hit to the roster. Monday was a huge day for Patriots news and it figures to be just the start of an eventful week in Foxborough.
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- Patriots CB Could Be Traded Before the Start of 2020 Season: Report
- Jarrett Stidham Isn’t Cam Newton’s Biggest Threat for Patriots’ QB1: Report