The New England Patriots re-signed quarterback Cody Kessler on Monday, using the open roster spot created by their trade of defensive end Michael Bennett last week.
Kessler returns after spending three weeks with the Pats earlier this year, which ended with his release on Oct. 16. He did not see any game action as the third quarterback behind Tom Brady and rookie Jarrett Stidham. The fourth-year USC product spent his first two seasons with the Browns, then the 2018 season in Jacksonville before attempting to catch on with the Eagles this summer.
Midway through Kessler’s first stint with the Pats, Bill Belichick spoke highly of his ability to pick up the offense. Kessler is likely to return to his scout-team duties and shoulder some of the practice load Brady and Stidham have been splitting since he was cut.
“Cody’s done a nice job for us,” Belichick said earlier this month. “He’s really smart. He’s come in here. He’s learned. I mean, he’s out there calling plays, signaling receivers, making adjustments like he’s been here longer than two weeks or whatever it is.”
The Patriots will face another notable roster decision in the coming days. First-round rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry is eligible to come off injured reserve.
Harry has been practicing the last two weeks and could have filled the void left by Bennett without the need for another transaction. Now that Kessler has signed, a player will have to be released or placed on IR to make room for Harry, if the team decides to elevate him to the active roster.
The team must activate Harry by Tuesday, Nov. 5., or he will remain on IR for the rest of year.