Patriot Maven Notebook: Patriots Sign Folk, Jackson to Practice Squad and More

In addition to making Folk’s signing official, the Patriots added an offensive lineman to the practice squad and hosted six players for workouts.
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As the New England Patriots begin to turn their attention to their Week Three matchup with the New Orleans Saints, they continue to make personnel news leading up to Wednesday’s first practice of the week. Here is the latest Pats roster news from Tuesday, September 21, courtesy of the Patriot Maven Notebook:

Folk Signed to Active Roster

The New England Patriots have made it official. The team announced that they have signed kicker Nick Folk to the 53-man roster from the practice squad. Folk was elevated to the active roster for each of the Pats’ first two games of 2021.

The 36-year-old was released during the final roster cut-down on August 31. Folk was subsequently signed to the practice squad. With rookie Quinn Nordin having been placed on Injured Reserve with an abdomen injury, Folk’s signing was widely expected. The veteran kicker has been successful on all seven of his field goal attempts in 2021. In addition, Folk also set the team record with 33 consecutive field goals after connecting on field goals of 46, 49, 32 and 26 yards on Sunday against the Jets. He passed Stephen Gostkowski, who connected on 31 straight field goals. After missing his first two field goals of the 2020 season, Folk has yet to miss an attempt.

“Got to Love the Drake”

While thanks are in order for indulging a gratuitous ‘Seinfeld’ reference, the Patriots also announced on Tuesday that they have signed offensive lineman Drake Jackson to their practice squad. The 23-year-old had worked out for the team on Friday, September 17.

Jackson joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Detroit Lions in May. The Kentucky product appeared in 47 career games and made 44 consecutive starts. Jackson was a team captain for the Wildcats in 2020, and was a second-team All-SEC selection by the Associated Press. He was also a first-team All-SEC selection by Pro Football Focus.

After a brief stint with Detroit, the 6-foot-2, 292-pound lineman was claimed off waivers by the Houston Texans in August. Jackson would later be claimed by the Houston Texans in August and was waived as NFL rosters reduced from 85 to 80. He played on 15 offensive snaps during the 2021 preseason, alternating between both guard spots.

Jackson will become the fourth offensive lineman on New England’s practice squad, joining James Ferentz, Alex Redmond and rookie Will Sherman. The Patriots also hosted interior offensive lineman Jake Eldrenkamp, who spent the 2019 offseason with New England, for a visit on Tuesday.

Pats Host Six for Workouts

Capping an eventual day of roster moves in Foxboro, New England reportedly worked out wide receiver Javon Wims, quarterback Anthony Gordon, wide receiver Jaylen Smith, as well as defensive backs Kentrell Brice, Shakur Brown and Grant Haley. The workouts were first reported by ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Wims was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft. Having played his college ball at the University of Georgia, Wims appeared in 33 games and made seven starts, compiling 28 receptions for 266 yards with two touchdowns. The 23-year-old played 811 offensive snaps with the Bears before being waived prior to the league’s deadline in August.

Gordon, a product of Washington State, redshirted his first year as a Cougar in 2016 and did not play in any games in 2017. In 2018, he served as the backup to Gardner Minshew. In 2019, Gordon was named the starter and threw for 48 TDs, second most in the nation behind Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow. Gordon joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2020. The 24-year-old also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs during the 2021 preseason.

Smith signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a rookie free agent in 2019. The 24-year-old receiver from Louisville spent time with the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

Brice joined the NFL in 2016 as an undrafted rookie. Since that time, the 27-year-old has been a member of the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals. The Louisiana State product also spent time with the XFL’s Seattle Dragons and CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. Throughout his career, Brice has compiled 100 tackles, one sack and one interception through 36 NFL games played.

Brown signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a rookie free agent following the 2021 NFL Draft. The 2020 first-team All-Big Ten product of Michigan State University was most recently a member of the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad.

Haley spent two seasons with the New York Giants after arriving as an undrafted free agent in 2018. The 25-year-old cornerback spent last season as a member of the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad. Haley has amassed 82 tackles, one sack and one interception in 25 games played, making 12 starts.