The Grafton, MA native was a second-round pick by the Raiders in 2017 but was hampered by injuries over his time on the West Coast, playing in just five games. He was placed on injured reserved this past August and officially released by the team in late September.
Melifonwu visited with the Patriots two Fridays ago before signing with them today. New England was short on safety help with just three players at the position and no backups. Melifonwu will also help to cover tight ends and running backs, an area the team has struggled heavily in throughout the season.
Once he gets acclimated to the system, Melifonwu projects as the top backup at in-the-box safety with the versatility to play free safety if needed.