Patriots sign one local player, release another

Patriots sign one local player, release another
June 9, 2014, 4:45 pm
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The more you can do, right?

The Patriots made an interesting pickup on Monday when they announced the signing of University of New Hampshire product Kyle Auffray. Why interesting? Well, Auffray fits the Patriots mold in that he's very versatile; he played three positions in college that don't usually have much crossover. 

Auffray started his college career at Mississippi State in 2006 as a quarterback. After not seeing any playing time there, he transferred to UNH where the team made him a tight end. As a senior in 2010, he also took care of UNH's punting duties. 

What's he been doing the last four years? 

He's been training for a shot at the NFL despite having a fairly unremarkable college career. He participated in the College Football Development League’s Euro-American Challenge in Poland in 2012, and he turned heads at the Super Regional Combine in Dallas last year.

According to Cover32.com, he ran a 4.57 seconds in the 40-yard dash, did 28 reps on the 225-pound bench, and his vertical was measured at 34 inches.

Those numbers, Cover 32 points out, would’ve put him in the top three in each category at this year’s NFL Combine. Auffray's short shuttle (4.15 seconds) and three-cone drill times (6.72) would have been the best of the tight ends at the combine.

The 6-foot-5, 254-pounder was signed by the Cardinals as a rookie free agent last year but was released by the end of July.

Auffray told Cover 32 that he worked out with the Patriots before signing with the Cardinals. He said a message Bill Belichick gave him stuck in his mind while he continued to pursue his dream throughout the last year.

"That," Belichick said, "was pretty impressive."

Now Auffray has another chance to try to impress New England's head coach.

In a corresponding move, the Patriots released undrafted rookie receiver Derrick Johnson out of the University of Maine. Last season as a senior he had 60 catches for 608 yards and two scores.