Swing lineman Bill Murray will be returning to Foxboro presumedly for his fourth training camp with the Patriots.
FOXBORO — Let the ‘Cinderella Story’ puns continue.
The New England Patriots announced the signing of offensive lineman Bill Murray to a futures contract on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old signed with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2020 as a product of the College of William & Mary. Murray spent his first three seasons in New England on the practice squad after finishing his FCS career as a team captain and two-time All-Colonial Athletic Association selection.
Murray was a standout defensive lineman at William & Mary due to his athleticism. The 6-4, 295-pound lineman has a knack for pursuing the quarterback, especially when moving outside the pocket. His explosiveness off the line helped him dominate interior linemen every time he took the field. In 2019, Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded five of his collegiate games, scoring him with an 89.2 overall grade, as well as a 91.1 run defense grade in 202 snaps.
Due to his versatility, Murray was moved to the offensive line this past summer. Despite performing well during training camp, he was a roster casualty during final cuts and subsequently signed to the practice squad.
As a member of the Pats scout team, Murray was elevated to the active roster for New England’s Week 7 matchup against the Chicago Bears and for Week 12 versus the Minnesota Vikings . Though he dressed for each game, he did not play a snap. Rather, Murray made his season debut in the Pats Week 13 loss to the Buffalo Bills, where he logged three snaps as a special teams blocker.
Murray’s signing seems to indicate that he is likely to compete for a depth spot on the Pats offensive line in 2023. Though he had been a free agent since the expiration of his contract on Jan. 16, the Patriots apparently maintained an interest in him, as evidenced by coach Bill Belichick described near the midway point of the season.
“Bill does all he can,” Belichick said. “Nobody works harder than that kid and he’s again, physically, he looks great and was impressive. His training’s very impressive. But like a lot of young guys, what they really need are snaps, and so he gets as many as he can.”
In addition to Murray, New England signed 11 members of the practice squad to futures contracts last week, including linebacker Terez Hall, defensive back Brad Hawkins, offensive lineman Hayden Howerton, cornerback Quandre Mosely, linebacker Calvin Munson, wide receiver Tre Nixon, running back J.J. Taylor, tight ends Matt Sokol and Scotty Washington and defensive linemen Jeremiah Pharms Jr. and LaBryan Ray.
The also inked two newcomers, ex-CFL cornerback Rodney Randle Jr. and former Rutgers linebacker Olakunle Fatukasi, brining the total to 14 heading into the upcoming season.
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