Patriots Sign Former Miami Star, Hybrid LB-Safety

Getty Michael Pinckney

The New England Patriots love linebacker/safety hybrids and they have just signed another player who could fit the bill. Former Miami Hurricanes star and four-year-starter Michael Pinckney was signed to join the Patriots’ practice squad on Friday.

Defensive tackle Xavier Williams was cut to make room for Pinckney.

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Who Is Michael Pinckney?

Michael Pinckney NFL Draft Tape | Miami LinebackerMichael Pinckney was a four-year starter and a leader on the Miami defense. The 2019 All-ACC Second Team player had 267 total tackles, 42 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions in his Miami career. A good run stopper who can also rush the passer, Pinckney will make a great addition to any NFL team's…2020-04-21T16:01:33Z

Pinckney played in 49 games over four years at Miami. He never had fewer than 60 tackles in a season, and three of his four years at The U, Pinckney had at least 11 tackles for a loss.

That includes his dominant senior season when he recorded 12.5 TFL.

Pinckney also showed a penchant for blitzing as he notched 14.5 sacks in his career, including five as a senior. He spent some of the last few months rehabbing a hamstring issue, and they may have explained why he went undrafted.

That said, Pinckney’s play diagnosis, sure-handed tackling, and strength inside the box as a run defender were likely attractive to the Patriots. Williams had been called up to the active roster earlier in the season, so the Patriots’ decision to release him for Pinckney might tell you something about how they feel about the latter.

Where He Could Help the Patriots?

View this post on Instagram

🖤🖤🖤🖤back in action jack 🃏🃏🃏

A post shared by Michael Pinckney (@56_nightmares) on Oct 2, 2020 at 1:29pm PDT

As a member of the practice squad, the chances of him making it onto the field anytime soon seem slight. However, there is something about Pinckney that makes me believe he’s a little more than another non-descript practice squad signing. He appears to have Patriots linebacker written all over him.

Whether it’s later in this season or sometime in 2021–assuming they retain his services–Pinckney could make an impact. Keep an eye on Pinckney’s progress and reports from Patriots training camp. 

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