Since the start of free agency, the Patriots have made a slew of moves, including bringing back familiar faces like Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty and Matthew Slater, but now, there are reportedly new faces in Foxborough. And, in the case of Brian Hoyer, a familiar face coming back again.
While these signings aren't yet official, we're going to introduce Patriots Nation to reported new guys.
Beau Allen comes to New England from Tampa Bay, and the defensive tackle is bringing a philanthropic spirit and incredible flow.
Before joining the Buccaneers, Allen spent time in Philadelphia with former Patriot Chris Long. There, he teamed up with Long and his Water Boys initiative to bring clean water to villages in Tanzania. In 2019, he was part of a group that climbed Mount Kilimanjaro that included Patriot alumni Rob Ninkovich.
In addition to his Waterboys participation, Allen is an advocate for cancer patients and survivors. His mother, Susie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and though she is now cancer free, Allen said he started growing out his hair after seeing what treatment did to hers. He told Philadelphia Magazine that he intends to keep growing it out and eventually donate it.
Adrian Phillips's football journey can be summed up in one word: determination. He was signed by the Chargers in 2014 as an undrafted free agent, and throughout his stint with the team, he was cut more than five times, only to be re-signed. In a behind-the-scenes series produced by the Chargers, Phillips said he tries to be the first person in the building every day.
That hard work and belief in himself, no matter what life threw at him, paid off. In the video, Phillips said he and his wife set goals with each other, and heading into the 2018 season, his was to be named a Pro Bowler and an All Pro.
"When the time for Pro Bowl voting came around and I searched my name and I wasn't even on the list. So I thought that I didn't reach my goal. I was like, there's always next year," he said. "It gives me something to look forward to. It gives me something to get better at. Then when they actually released the names and I was on the list, I was really caught off guard because I had no idea whatsoever."
After achieving that goal, the first thing he did was call his wife, Camille.
"I called her and let her know and when she found out she just went crazy. It was a lot of emotion going on because of everything that we've been through together and just the five years I've been in the league," he said. "There was a lot of things going on so for me to actually reach that milestone and accomplish that goal, it was a great feeling for both of us. It was an emotional time."
And he wasn't the only one to achieve his goal. In 2019, his wife became Dr. Phillips, and he shared a picture to Instagram showing how proud he was.
Linebacker Brandon Copeland is coming to Foxborough with more than an impressive reel on the field. Copeland graduated from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of business, and he has actively pursued experience in the world of business while in the NFL. According to an ESPN.com article from 2017, Copeland spent that offseason working as an analyst for Weiss Multi-Strategy Advisers, and a partner at the firm believes he has a bright future on Wall Street when he hangs up his cleats.
In January, Copeland was named the NFLPA's 2020 Alan Page Community Award winner for his dedication to giving back to the community through his Beyond the Basics Foundation. Actually, Copeland's reach has already extended into New England. In December, Copeland reached out to former teammates around the league, including Jason McCourty, to host shopping events for kids in need in their cities. The idea was to create a day of giving back across several NFL cities for a "December to Remember."
Dan Vitale joins the Patriots from the Packers, and the fullback is dedicated to using his NFL platform to supporting members of the military. He was the Packers 2019 Salute to Service Award nominee for his work with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, as well as consistently participating in events with active service members and veterans through the team.
In an article on Packers.com, Vitale said that his appreciation for those who serve is deeply personal. Both of Vitale's grandparents, his younger brother and best friend from Northwestern all served, and he said if he hadn't pursued a career in the NFL and met his wife, Tampa Bay Lightning reporter and analyst Caley Chelios, he would have enlisted as well.
In addition to his football and philanthropic work, Vitale has a few hobbies for fun, including playing guitar and boxing.
Special teamer Cody Davis comes to the Patriots from Jacksonville, and like Coleman, Davis hasn't stopped his education while in the NFL. During the summer of 2018, Davis earned his Master of Science in data science from Texas Tech. Though he wasn't able to attend graduation with his classmates, the Davis family was able to have a special celebration on the Jaguars home turf.
Another fun piece of Davis trivia from his time with the Rams is just too good. In 2017, he appeared on The Price is Right and won $5,000. It was "Celebrity Charity Week," and Davis and his wife sported matching shirts in the audience. He was called down and got help from actor Chris O'Donnell. When host Drew Carey asked what Davis did for a living, he was surprised to hear he played for the Rams.
It's TV gold.
Last but not least: Damiere Byrd. The wide receiver spent last season with the Cardinals after starting his career with the Panthers, but that wasn't his first time playing in the region. Byrd played football at University of South Carolina, just a quick drive from Charlotte, and he even overlapped with Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore.
Byrd didn't just play football at USC either. He also competed in track and field, running the fourth fastest 55-meter dash and sixth fastest 60-meter dash in school history. That speed paid off at the Combine, where he ran 4.28 40-yard-dash.
Welcome to New England, guys! Well, allegedly.