The New England Patriots aren’t done filling spots on their roster. On Thursday, the team hosted a pair of free agents for tryouts. One was an armed forces veteran and former pass rusher turned tight end named Paul Quessenberry. The other was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl squad in 2019 and could fill a role as a run-stuffing NT.
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Patriots host Xavier Williams For a Tryout
TE Paul Quessenberry, who hasn't played in a game since his senior year at Navy in 2014, had a tryout with the Patriots today. Former college DE had a rookie tryout with Houston in 2015, then became an officer in the Marines. Now trying to get back into football. https://t.co/yFZLt5e8zQ
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) August 20, 2020
The Patriots brought in the 6’2″ 309-pound Xavier Williams for a tryout. The 28-year-old from Kansas City, Missouri spent the last two seasons with the Chiefs. While he only played in five games in 2019, he still earned a championship ring.
In those five games, Williams had eight tackles and a forced fumble. The previous season, Williams played a larger role. He appeared in all 16 games, starting four, making 47 tackles, 2.5 sacks, forcing a fumble, and one quarterback hit.
Prior to arriving in Kansas City, his hometown team, Williams spent the first three seasons of his professional career with the Arizona Cardinals.
Why Are the Patriots Still Looking for Defensive Linemen
All of these moves by the Patriots and many other NFL teams are about depth. The NFL offseason has been massively disjointed because of the impact of COVID-19. Aside from the delays to training camp, a number of teams have lost players who have opted out of the 2020 NFL season.
The Patriots had eight players opt-out.
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The eight Patriots players who opted out of the 2020 NFL season. Najee Toran, Patrick Chung, Dont'a Hightower, Marqise Lee, Matt LaCosse, Marcus Cannon, Brandon Bolden, Dan Vitale #Patriots #NewEnglandPatriots #PatriotsNations #CamNewton #StephonGilmore #DevinMcCourty #JasonMcCourty #PatrickChung #BrandonBolden #LawrenceGuy #ChaseWinovich #JoshUche #KyleDugger #JoeThuney #JamesHarris #LamarMiller #JarrettStidham #AdamButler #DariusKilgo #DevinAsiasi #DaltonKeene #JulianEdelman #NKealHarry #MohamedSanu #DavidAndrews #BillBelichick #RobertKraft #AFCEast #AFC #NFL
None of the players who opted out are defensive tackles. However, there is no way to know if that position may be short in the future.
Does Williams Have a Good Chance to Stick
Williams certainly has the right playstyle to stick with the Patriots. He’s a run-stuffing NT, and that’s the kind of interior defensive lineman the Patriots usually target. Because of that, if Williams was signed by the Patriots, it wouldn’t come as a major surprise.
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