Obi Melifonwu

Patriots To Release Obi Melifonwu

The Patriots are cutting safety Obi Melifonwu, as Field Yates of tweets. The former second-round pick of the Raiders will try to get his career back on track with another team in 2020.

[RELATED: Patriots Pass On Draft QBs, Sign UDFA Brian Lewerke]

Melifonwu didn’t see much playing time in his first year with Oakland due to injury. He finished out his rookie year with seven tackles in five games and two separate IR stints. After his release and injury settlement, he worked out for the Cowboys, Chiefs, Saints, and other clubs before hooking on with the Pats. Now that the Patriots are putting him back on the curb, those other clubs could revisit the safety as a low-cost and low-risk addition to the 90-man roster.

Melifonwu spent time on the Patriots’ taxi squad last year and re-upped with the team on a futures deal in January. After the Pats used a second-round pick to select Kyle Dugger out of D-II Lenoir-Rhyne University, they didn’t have a place for the 26-year-old.

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NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/6/20

Here are Monday’s reserve/futures deals:

Green Bay Packers

  • WR Reggie Begelton, RB Elijah Wellman

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

  • CB Dylan Mabin

Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/12/19

Today’s practice squad updates:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: DL Abdullah Anderson
  • Released: LB James Vaughters

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: TE Donald Parham

Patriots To Cut Kendricks, Melifonwu

For the time being, the Patriots will have eight wide receivers on their roster. Their move to bring aboard Antonio Brown will not be cutting a wide receiver, but instead, one of their defensive backs received word he’s out.

The Patriots will waive safety Obi Melifonwu, according to’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Additionally, the Pats are releasing Lance Kendricks. The tight end was suspended for Week 1 and did not count against New England’s 53-man roster.

Melifonwu was also a former Raider, though the one-time second-round pick was with New England throughout the Brown debacle in Oakland. Jon Gruden jettisoned Melifonwu, a Reggie McKenzie draft choice, last year. Melifonwu, a UConn product, played in two games for the Patriots last season.

Kendricks was one of the many tight ends the Patriots added this offseason. The former Rams and Packers pass catcher/blocker drew a one-game suspension. While it shouldn’t be ruled out Kendricks could return, as the Patriots will be without Benjamin Watson until Week 5, the defending Super Bowl champions did not exactly miss him in their Week 1 romp over the Steelers.

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East Notes: Dolphins, Patriots, Obi, Eagles

Although Ryan Tannehill won’t be available when the Dolphins face the Packers this weekend, he’s expected to return to action after Miami’s Week 11 bye, head coach Adam Gase told reporters today (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of Tannehill hasn’t played since Week 5, as a shoulder injury has forced the Dolphins to turn to backup Brock Osweiler, who’s posted a 2-2 record with Tannehill on the shelf. Miami has been reticent to release any sort of timeline on Tannehill’s recovery to this point, so the mere fact that the club has highlighted a possible return date is seemingly good news.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • When the Patriots signed defensive back Obi Melifonwu earlier this week, they actually inked him to a two-year deal through 2019, reports Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. While Melifonwu will only earn minimum base salaries over the next two seasons, he did receive $100K guaranteed in 2019. Given his experience level, Melifonwu would have been an exclusive rights free agent next spring, meaning New England could have kept him at little cost. But as Volin notes, the fact that the Patriots added guarantees to Melifonwu’s deal indicates they had competition for the ex-Raider (the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Saints also worked out the former second-rounder). Melifonwu can collect a $25K workout bonus, a $30K Week 1 roster bonus, and $125K in per-game roster bonuses next season.
  • The XFL has hired former Bills general manager Doug Whaley as its senior vice president of football operations, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Whaley led Buffalo’s front office from 2013-17, but never the club never made a postseason appearance under his leadership. After interviewing for both the Browns and Packers general manager positions earlier this year, Whaley took on a gig as the director of scouting for the NFLPA’s Collegiate Bowl. For what it’s worth, the XFL isn’t scheduled to get under way until 2020, so Whaley could conceivably return to the NFL before then.
  • While the Eagles ultimately made only one trade (swinging a deal for Lions receiver Golden Tate), it sounds like the Birds may have targeted other positions before last week’s deadline. “You try to see if there’s a [defensive back] out there,” Philadelphia head coach Doug Pederson said today, per Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link). “You maybe see if there’s another pass rusher out there and then what are you giving up as a team?” The Eagles recently lost 2017 first-round pick Derek Barnett for the rest of the year, so adding another edge defender certainly wouldn’t have been out of the question.

Patriots Sign S Obi Melifonwu

The Patriots have signed safety Obi Melifonwu, according to Adam Schefter of (on Twitter). Melifonwu, a 2017 second-round pick of the Raiders, was waived/injured by Oakland in August. Recently, the Raiders reached an injury settlement with the UConn product, allowing him to sign with another club. 

The 24-year-old Melifonwu played sparingly during his rookie campaign, compiling seven tackles in five games (one start). He was placed on IR twice during his first season and didn’t do a whole lot while on the field. Melifonwu also worked out for the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Saints, but he’ll join up with the Patriots instead.

Melifonwu is known for his freakish athleticism and could be a real asset down the stretch if he stays healthy. After Eric Rowe landed on IR with a groin injury, the Patriots could use the additional depth and special teams help that Melifonwu can provide.

Coming off of a 31-17 win over the Packers, the Patriots are now 7-2. On Sunday, they’ll be a heavy favorite when they travel to Nashville to face the Titans.

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Chiefs Work Out Obi Melifonwu

The Chiefs worked out safety Obi Melifonwu and linebacker Marquis Flowers on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). Melifonwu hasn’t done much at the pro level, but he offers potential as a second-round pick of the 2017 draft.

The 24-year-old Melifonwu played sparingly during his rookie campaign, compiling seven tackles in five games (one start). He was placed on IR twice during his first season, and he was waived/injured by the Raiders back in August. After clearing waivers, he landed on the team’s injured reserve. Earlier this month, the Raiders reached an injury settlement with him, making him a full fledged free agent. He worked out for the Cowboys, Patriots, and Saints, but did not sign with any of those clubs.

Flowers mostly played special teams for the Bengals in 2016, but he saw time on 361 snaps for the Patriots in 2017. The 26-year-old finished out the regular season with 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks and even started in two games. In the playoffs, he added another six tackles and one sack. This year, he missed the Pats’ final cut and had a brief regular season stint with the Lions.

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NFL Workout Updates: 10/30/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit. All links to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account, unless otherwise specified.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Patriots Meet With Obi Melifonwu

The Patriots will meet with former Raiders second-round pick Obi Melifonwu on Friday, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The safety could be a depth signing for the Patriots with the potential to become more down the line. 

Melifonwu hasn’t done much at the pro level, but he was a second-round pick for a reason. The combine darling’s athleticism is still there and the hip injury that slowed him in the summer appears to be better, at least for now.

The 24-year-old UConn product played sparingly during his rookie campaign, compiling seven tackles in five games (one start). Melifonwu was placed on the IR twice during his first season, and he was waived/injured by the Raiders back in August. After clearing waivers, he landed on the team’s injured reserve. This week, the Raiders reached an injury settlement with him, making him a full fledged free agent.

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Cowboys Meet With Obi Melifonwu

Former Raiders cornerback Obi Melifonwu will meet with the Cowboys on Thursday, Adam Schefter of tweets. And, in addition to Melifonwu, the Cowboys will also meet with veteran defensive back Teddy Williams, according to’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). 

If Melifonwu signs, he’ll rejoin former Raiders teammate Amari Cooper, as well as former UConn teammate Byron Jones. He’ll also enter the building with lower expectations than last year when he entered the league as a second-round pick of the Raiders.

As a rookie, a hip issue kept Melifonwu off of the field. This summer, he was stuck in the trainer’s room again, and Jon Gruden lost patience with his recovery. Melifonwu had a great career at UConn and showed serious athleticism in pre-draft workouts, so the potential is still there for him to do big things at the NFL level.

Williams signed his first NFL contract with the Cowboys in 2010. Back then, Williams was an raw track athlete who was only starting to put his full focus on football. Years later, he has proven himself as a quality special teams player. If signed, Williams can handle special teams duties and take C.J. Goodwin‘s spot on the cornerback depth chart.

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