Patriots Sign WR Through 2020 and DT Through 2021

Getty Donte Moncrief and Akeem Spence

The New England Patriots have apparently loved what they’ve seen from two late-season additions to the roster. On Friday, they were awarded contracts.

The Patriots signed WR Donte Moncrief through the rest of the 2020 regular season. New England also inked defensive tackle, Akeem Spence, through 2021.

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Donte Moncrief

GettyNo. 14 – New England Patriots
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: August 6, 1993 (age 27)
Raleigh, Mississippi
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 216 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Raleigh (Raleigh, Mississippi)
College: Ole Miss
NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 3 / Pick: 90
Career history
Indianapolis Colts (2014–2017)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2018)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2019)
Carolina Panthers (2019)
New York Jets (2020)*
New England Patriots (2020–present)
* Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2020
Receptions: 205
Receiving yards: 2,576
Receiving average: 12.6
Receiving touchdowns: 21

Moncrief made his presence felt on special teams. He had a huge return against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13 that ignited the Patriots and shifted the momentum. The play came with New England down 10-0 and in need of a spark for their offense. Moncrief provided the boost and the Patriots were on their way in that game.

Moncrief has yet to be a major factor as a receiver, but there is some hope he could provide production there as soon as the upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins.

Moncrief isn’t exactly a burner, but he is a smart route runner with good hands. Because the Patriots’ receiving corps isn’t stacked with elite talent, there is an opening for Moncrief to do some positive things if given the chance in a receiver’s role. He has just one reception for 15 yards this season, but in his career, Moncrief has hauled in 205 passes for 2,576 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Akeem Spence

GettyNo. 52 – New England Patriots
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born: November 29, 1991 (age 29)
Navarre, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 303 lb (137 kg)
Career information
High school: Fort Walton Beach
(Fort Walton Beach, Florida)
College: Illinois
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 4 / Pick: 100
Career history
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2013–2016)
Detroit Lions (2017)
Miami Dolphins (2018)
Philadelphia Eagles (2019)
Jacksonville Jaguars (2019)
New England Patriots (2020–present)
Roster status: Active
Career NFL statistics as of Week 13, 2020
Total tackles: 187
Sacks: 10.5
Forced fumbles: 1
Fumble recoveries: 3

Spence has provided a much-needed, run-stuffing presence on the defensive line.

The Patriots lost Danny Shelton to the Detroit Lions in free agency, and they have also had to play without Adam Butler at points this year. The team was looking for a player who could help anchor the run defense. For the most part, when given the opportunity, Spence has delivered.

He hasn’t been able to do much as a pass rusher, but he does have five tackles in three games. Unfortunately, Spence was also whistled for a crucial neutral-zone infraction penalty on Thursday against the Rams. It came just before the snap on a fourth-down play inside the Patriots’ five-yard line.

The flag resulted in a first down and the Rams scored the touchdown on an out route to Cooper Kupp from Jared Goff on the next play. Despite that, Spence showed the coaching staff enough for them to want him on the roster through next season.

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