Bringing McGowan into the fold adds another layer of depth at safety, where Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, and Patrick Chung are the top three options.
While those players are a lock to make the roster, McGowan will vie for a fourth spot at the position.
The Patriots have some flexibility with other players on the roster, as cornerback Shawn Springs also can line up at safety. Tank Williams is also a safety by trade, although he was being utilized more as a linebacker in 2008 training camp and the team presumably would like to keep him closer to the line of scrimmage in a specific package.
Ray Ventone and Antwain Spann also play safety, with their primary contributions to this point coming on special teams.
At punter, veteran Chris Hanson has the inside track to retain his job. Competition will come from UCLA rookie Aaron Perez.