FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Linebacker Trevor Bates, a 23-year-old Westbrook native and former University of Maine star, is one of eight players signed from the 2016 practice squad to future contracts on Tuesday by the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

Bates was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the seventh round last spring. He played in one game before being cut Oct. 13. He was signed to the Patriots’ practice squad on Nov. 7.

Others signed to future contracts: Offensive linemen Chris Barker, Jamil Douglas and Chase Farris; running back Tyler Gaffney; defensive linemen Woodrow Hamilton and Darius Kilgo and wide receiver Devin Lucien.

In addition, the Patriots signed tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. Housler, 28, is a veteran of five NFL seasons with Arizona (2011-14), Cleveland (2015) and Chicago (2015).

When a player is signed to a reserve/future contract that means they are being signed for the upcoming season. It’s typically a one- or two-year deal at the league minimum based on number of years of experience in the NFL.

Tom Brady and his missing jersey have still not been reunited.

Brady’s jersey was taken from the New England Patriots’ locker room at Houston’s NRG Stadium after the team’s 34-28 victory over Atlanta in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

On Tuesday, Houston Police Executive Assistant Chief George Buenik said his agency’s Major Offenders division is leading the investigation but officials still have no leads on who swiped the jersey. Buenik says investigators are still working to identify who was in the locker room at the time of the theft.

Buenik says Crime Stoppers of Houston will also be offering a reward for any information leading to the stolen jersey.

The Texas Rangers, the state’s top law enforcement officers, are assisting Houston police in the investigation.

Another Patriots player has announced he won’t visit the White House.

A day after New England’s dramatic 34-28 come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, safety Devin McCourty told Time that he has no intentions of meeting President Trump.

“I’m not going to the White House,” McCourty said in a text message to the outlet. “Basic reason for me is I don’t feel accepted in the White House. With the president having so many strong opinions and prejudices I believe certain people might feel accepted there while others won’t.”

After Sunday’s win, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett reiterated that he has every intention of skipping the team’s ceremonial visit to the White House.

FALCONS: After only one game as Alabama’s offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian is heading to the NFL.

To work with MVP quarterback Matt Ryan and the league’s highest-scoring offense, no less.

Less than 24 hours after Kyle Shanahan left to become head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, the Falcons announced that Sarkisian would be his replacement.

The stunning move came with Sarkisian less than a month into what was to be his first full season running Alabama’s offense, a job he took over for the national championship game in place of Lane Kiffin. But Falcons Coach Dan Quinn said he’s had his eye on Sarkisian since last spring, figuring it was only a matter of time before Shanahan moved on to a team of his own.

BROWNS: Veteran quarterback Josh McCown was released by the Browns.

McCown went 1-10 in starts over two seasons with the Browns, who cut him before he was due a $750,000 roster bonus in March.

The Browns also released cornerback Tramon Williams.

BILLS: First-year coach Sean McDermott hired Gill Byrd to oversee the team’s defensive backs.

Byrd has 12 years of NFL coaching experience, and was a four-time All-Pro defensive back during a 10-year playing career with the San Diego Chargers (1983-92). He most recently spent the 2014-15 seasons coaching cornerbacks with Tampa Bay, and held similar roles in Chicago (2006-12) and St. Louis (2003-05).

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