The New England Patriots made two signings official this morning, confirming the additions of long snapper Charley Hughlett and tight end Xavier Grimble to the practice squad.
In correspondence, the team announced the release of linebacker Deontae Skinner and cornerback Daxton Swanson.
Hughlett, 24, is in his third stint with New England after being signed to the 90-man roster in March and later the practice squad in September. Since entering the league an undrafted free agent out of Central Florida in 2012, the 6-foot-4, 251-pound Hughlett has also spent time with the Dallas Cowboys, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns. His return to Foxborough was first announced by his agent, Brett Tessler, Wednesday morning.
Grimble, 22, joined the New York Giants as an undrafted rookie via USC in May. The 6-foot-4, 261-pound tight end was waived by New York during the Aug. 26 roster cuts and signed to the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad in September, where he remained until San Fransisco released him earlier this month. In three seasons at USC, Grimble caught 69 passes for 731 yards and 11 touchdowns over 38 games and 22 starts.
Hughlett and Grimble are now the lone players at their respective positions on New England’s 10-man practice squad, a place where Skinner and Swanson have resided for much of the 2014 season.
Skinner, 24, was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted rookie by way of Mississippi State in May. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound linebacker was released by the Patriots in August and rejoined the team’s practice squad five days later. Skinner was promoted to the 53-man roster on Sept. 13 and played in seven games, starting one, and recording 10 tackles as well as three stops on special teams. After logging 105 defensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, Skinner was released on Oct. 29 and re-signed to the practice squad on Oct. 31.
Swanson, 23, first joined the Patriots on May 22, having spent his rookie season between the Indianapolis Colts’ injured reserve list and the 49ers’ practice squad. The 5-foot-11, 191-pound cornerback went undrafted in 2013 after finishing his college career as Sam Houston State’s all-time leader in interceptions with 14. And in August of 2014, Swanson played in all four of New England’s preseason games, notching six tackles, one pass deflection, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was signed to New England’s practice squad on Sept 1, 2014 and was released after two days, only to be re-signed on Sept. 17.