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Patriots reclaim Jake Bequette, place him on injured reserve 08.28.15 at 6:33 pm ET
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The Patriots have claimed another player off waivers and put him on season-ending injured reserve.

Defensive end-turned-tight end Jake Bequette was put on injured reserve Friday after the team claimed him. The Patriots did the same with Brian Tyms on Tuesday.

Bequette, 26, was originally drafted by the Patriots in the third round (90th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Arkansas. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder appeared in eight games in his first two seasons and was a member of the Patriots practice squad in 2014. Bequette had spent the 2014 offseason transitioning from defensive end to tight end.

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Patriots place Jake Bequette on injury waivers, roster down to 84 08.27.15 at 5:52 pm ET
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Jake Bequette

Jake Bequette

The tight end experiment of Jake Bequette is over, for now.

The 6-foot-5 255-pound defensive end-turned-tight end was placed on injury waivers Thursday by the Patriots. The move, combined with the release of Antonio Johnson, Cameron Gordon and Mark Asper, brings the roster down to 84 players, with the 75-man limit set for Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.

As was the case with Brian Tyms on Tuesday, if no one claims Bequette off waivers by 4 p.m. ET Friday, Bequette can be reclaimed and placed on the team’s injured reserve.

The 26-year-old University of Arkansas product started 42 of 48 games in college from 2007 to 2011, recording 140 tackles and 23.5 sacks. As a senior he was a first team All-SEC selection. Bequette was named the Defensive MVP of the 2012 Cotton Bowl, helping Arkansas defeat Kansas State, 29-16. Bequette finished the game with five tackles and three sacks.

Bequette was selected in the 3rd round by the Patriots in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was released by the team on Aug. 30, 2014 as part of final roster cuts. He re-signed with the team’s practice squad shortly after the 2014 cuts. Bequette earned a Super Bowl ring for the Patriots in 2014, though he spent the entire season on the practice squad.

Before the 2015 season, the Patriots switched Bequette from defensive end to tight end, switching from No. 92 to No. 85. Bequette worked with the tight ends starting in spring OTAs before getting work in during minicamp. His career took a bad turn early in training camp with an undisclosed injury and he was unable to get on the field for the first two preseason games.

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Jake Bequette working on getting into ‘comfort zone’ after switching to tight end 08.03.15 at 10:51 pm ET
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Jake Bequette

Jake Bequette

After being drafted in the third-round by the Patriots in 2012, three years have passed and Jake Bequette has played in just eight games, spending the majority of his time on the practice squad.

In order to try and get the most out of Bequette and him on the field, the team has moved him from his defensive end position to tight end. The 26-year-old was sporting a new number last week — No. 85.

“I’€™m not really sure that was my choice,”€ Bequette said about his new number last Friday. “€œI just walked out here, see a jersey in my locker, and I just go with it.”

He spent all of last season on the practice squad — making his eight appearances in 2012 and 2013. It’s only been a few months, so Bequette knows there’s a lot to learn, but he’s already shown he can make a few plays, as he made a few nice catches last week.

“€œIt’€™s a daily process,”€ Bequette said. “I’€™m making process and getting in that comfort zone, making it feel like you’€™ve always done that. I’€™m not there yet. There’€™s going to be a long way to go before I get there, but every day I make improvements. There are different things I see on film that give me confidence, and I think you’€™ll see that as I progress.”

It isn’t a totally new position as he played it high school and sparingly at Arkansas.

The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder may have a better shot at making the roster as a tight end rather than a defensive end, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a competitive group. He’s likely competing with Michael Hoomanawanui, Jimmay Mundine and AJ Derby for a spot, as Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler are locks.

Bequette knows he has his work cut out for him to make the team.

“It’€™s a competitive unit, competitive team, competitive offense, and we have a lot of good players,” Bequette said. “€œIf I’€™m going to find a role, I’€™ve got to do some things that other guys may not do as well, and hopefully in the run game, I can bring something to the table there.”

Whether he makes the team as a tight end or not, it won’t be for a lack of effort. Between OTAs and training camp, Bequette was catching passes and seeking advice from anyone he could fine.

“€œI had anyone and everyone out there throwing to me,”€ Bequette said. “I was running routes in multiple states and locations just trying to get a better feel for the position and trying to get the point where I wasn’€™t totally rusty after five or six weeks off.

“Everyone from my brothers to high school quarterbacks. People in Fayettville, Little Rock (Arkansas), everyone.”

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What moving Jake Bequette to tight end reveals about the true ‘Patriot Way’ 06.18.15 at 11:39 am ET
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Jake Bequette (66) plays defensive end in a 2012 preseason game against the Eagles at Gillette Stadium. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jake Bequette (66) plays defensive end in a 2012 preseason game against the Eagles at Gillette Stadium. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

FOXBORO — In many ways, Jake Bequette symbolizes and embodies the “Patriot Way.”

Bequette was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft by the Patriots to provide some quality depth and versatility at defensive end, a position he mastered at Arkansas.

But the impact and production many in the coaching staff projected on the defensive side never has materialized. In three NFL seasons, he has played in just eight games (all over the first two seasons), without recording a sack or tackle. He was released by the Patriots on Aug. 30, 2014 as part of final roster cuts. But Bill Belichick and staff still saw potential.

Bequette re-signed with the team’s practice squad shortly after the 2014 cuts and earned a Super Bowl ring for the Patriots after spending the entire season on the practice squad, a unit for which he still retains eligibility this season.

It was during the ’14 season that the Patriots began thinking outside the box on Bequette. They saw a player with good hands and a very smart head and the ability to pick up schemes quickly. They starting toying with the idea of moving him to tight end while continuing his work on special teams. After all, Belichick loves versatility.

Jake Bequette the tight end was born. The plan has continued this spring in OTAs and this month’s minicamp. So far, so good.

“Jake works hard. I think he’€™s really into it,” Belichick said after the final minicamp practice Wednesday. “He wanted to do it, wants to do it and he’€™s worked really hard at it. The techniques are different, but he played on the end of the line on defense, so he has some familiarity with that kind of spacing over there if you will and what it looks like on the other side of the ball.”

It’s a new take on an old financial adage: Lack of past production doesn’t guarantee future failure. It’s one of the foundations of the Patriots under Belichick. Don’t give up on a smart player or staffer willing to work hard at whatever assignment you give him. Belichick believed that as far back as Cleveland, when he gave his “slappies” like Kirk Ferentz, Ozzie Newsome and Nick Saban a chance to prove themselves valuable in the organization as scouts and coaching assistants.

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Mike Petraglia, Chris Price talk Matt Flynn, Brian Tyms, minicamp highlights 06.17.15 at 6:42 pm ET
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FOXBORO — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss backup quarterback Matt Flynn, his role behind Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo, the maturation of Brian Tyms, the role of Danny Amendola going forward and the closing of Patriots minicamp on Wednesday.

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Report: Pats cut DE Jake Bequette, LB Steve Beauharnais, DT Jerel Worthy 08.30.14 at 12:17 pm ET
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Jake Bequette

Jake Bequette

The Patriots have released defensive end Jake Bequette, linebacker Steve Beauharnais and defensive lineman Jerel Worthy, according to Shalise Manza-Young of the Boston Globe.

Bequette, a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end out of Arkansas, was a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2012 who played in eight games with New England. Beauharnais is a 6-foot-1, 240-pounder out of Rutgers who was a seventh-round choice of the Patriots out of Rutgers in 2013. Primarily a special teamer, he had one tackle last season. The 24-year-old Worthy, who was acquired earlier this month in a trade with the Packers, has 15 career tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

The Patriots need to be down to 53 players by the league-mandated deadline of 4 p.m. Saturday.

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

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5 veteran Patriots who need good spring, summer to strengthen roster status 05.29.14 at 11:49 am ET
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With the spring practice sessions now in full swing, there are a handful of players who have spent some time in the system who are on what could be called a preliminary roster bubble. It’s important to remember that there’s a lot of football between now and the start of the regular season, and so these players will have plenty of chances to turn things in their favor. But at first glance, here are five vets who need a good spring and summer to solidify their spot on the roster.

Defensive end Jake Bequette — Bequette has been a non-factor in his first two seasons in the NFL. He’s been a game-day inactive for 25 of a possible 32 regular-season games in that stretch. With the acquisition of veteran Will Smith this spring, there’s more urgency to Bequette’s situation. He needs to take advantage of his reps this spring and summer and display the consistency that made him the 90th overall selection by the Patriots in 2012.

Defensive end Michael Buchanan — While Buchanan might not have the same sense of urgency around his situation as Bequette — Buchanan just completed his first year — he still needs to turn thing up a notch this spring if he wants to be considered a key part of the defense in 2014. The arrival of Smith and the fact that Buchanan dropped off the radar screen at the end of last season combine to make it imperative that the Illinois product has a good spring and summer if he wants to be a part of the regular defensive rotation in the fall.

Defensive back Tavon Wilson — According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson played just 19 defensive snaps in 2013. Nineteen. (As a refresher, he was the 48th overall pick in the 2012 draft.) For a team that was in need of some help at safety over the course of the season, this doesn’t bode well for the Illinois product. To be fair, he did end up being a core member of New England’s special teams unit. And he should get every opportunity to compete for the strong safety position this spring and summer, considering the depth at that spot is woefully thin, at least at this point. Regardless, anyone who ends up playing less than 20 defensive snaps over the course of the whole season and only has two inactives on the year … that doesn’t bode well for their future.

Tight end D.J. Williams — The tight end uttered one of our favorite quotes of 2013. Shortly after he was acquired, he was asked about the New England offense: “It’€™s just the terminology,’€ Williams said. ‘€œThe concepts are pretty much the same. It’€™s just called different. It’€™s like trying to pick up Spanish. This offense is very attractive and if you found a very attractive Hispanic lady, you’€™d pick [her] up pretty quick.” Right now, Williams figures to be on the back end of the depth chart, but if the Patriots do end up picking up free agent tight end Dustin Keller after June 1, he could be trying to woo someone else in some other locale come training camp.

Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins — We covered many of the reasons that the heat could be on KT going into his second year here, but when it comes to personnel and scheme and packages — as well as measuring overall special teams value — it’s clear that Thompkins could use a couple of good months. New England usually heads into the season with either five or six wide receivers on its roster — if the Patriots choose Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson, that’s four. Matthew Slater is a receiver in name only, but the special teams captain still needs a position, so we’ll award him the fifth spot. The last spot could come down to Thompkins or Josh Boyce, and Boyce has demonstrated special teams value while Thompkins has not. (Things could change if the Patriots tweak their personnel in some other offensive skill position areas — one fewer back or tight end.) Right now, it appears that Thompkins needs a good couple of months to solidify his spot on the roster.

Read More: D.J. Williams, Jake Bequette, Kenbrell Thompkins, Michael Buchanan
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