Why Patriots reportedly cut DT Marquan McCall just a day after claiming him off waivers


McCall was expected to serve as valuable depth behind Davon Godchaux on New England’s depth chart.

Marquan McCall #55 of the Carolina Panthers attends Carolina Panthers Training Camp at Wofford College on July 27, 2023 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
A reported knee issue is the reason behind Marquan McCall’s short tenure in New England. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

The Patriots added some heft to their defensive line on Tuesday when they claimed 379-pound nose tackle Marquan McCall off waivers from the Carolina Panthers.

But just a day after adding him to the roster, New England announced that it released McCall, putting him back on waivers.

Why the abrupt turnaround?

According to NFL insider Jordan Schultz, the Patriots cut McCall due to a failed physical. Schultz added that the Patriots flagged an issue with McCall’s knee that came as a surprise, as the 24-year-old defensive lineman has not missed any time this preseason with Carolina. 

McCall played in 16 games last season as an undrafted rookie with Carolina, recording 15 tackles, two tackles for loss, and one quarterback hit. He would have likely served as valuable depth at the heart of New England’s D line behind Davon Godchaux.

McCall was viewed as a potential starter on Carolina’s defense entering training camp, but was released by the Panthers due to what new head coach Frank Reich described as a “fit” issue in the team’s revamped defense.

“Those are tough decisions — we appreciate his contribution,” Reich said, per Mike Kaye of The Charlotte Observer. “Honestly, we’re doing it now because we think he’s going to be on a roster somewhere. It just comes down to two things: It comes down to a fit for us and what we’re trying to do, and then we’ve had a couple of guys at that position who have really looked good. So, wish Marquan the best and appreciate his contribution.”

The Patriots needed to waive injured wide receiver Tre Nixon on Tuesday in order to make room for McCall. New England now has a vacant spot on its roster.