The Patriots have finally made a roster move (their first since training camp began), as the club announced that they’ve waived offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson, who was signed on July 24. New England needed to clear a roster spot to activate safety Nate Ebner, who had been participating in the Olympics, as head coach Bill Belichick confirmed to reporters, including Doug Kyed of NESN.com.
Ebner, 27, re-signed with the Patriots on a two-year, $2.4MM deal that contains $500K guaranteed and a $250K reporting bonus (per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com), and New England presumably agreed to the contract with the knowledge that Ebner would try out for the U.S. rugby team. Ebner has never started a game during his four-year NFL career, but he’s appeared in 57 contests as an extremely valuable special teams piece. In 2016, for example, Ebner played on more than three-quarters of the Patriots’ special teams snaps.
New England had been granted a roster exemption while Ebner was away, and Belichick today indicated that Ebner will have some work to do in order to prepare for the season. “Football,” said Belichick, when asked what Ebner would need to adjust to, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). “Not training, football. He hasn’t played football. You can go out there and run around a track all you want, but you put 21 other guys out there and it’s a whole different ball game.”
Kerbyson, meanwhile, lasted on the Patriots’ roster for about three weeks. The former Tennessee Volunteer went undrafted earlier this year, but started all 13 games at left tackle during his senior season, during which he was named second-team All SEC.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.