NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Loyko
It wouldn’t be a cut down day in New England without a few surprises. Here is our reaction to the Patriots initial 53 man roster.
Rumors had been circulating all summer about Brandon Meriweather being cut or traded from the roster; today those rumors became reality. While Meriweather is a big name and a pro bowler by default, his play has not been very consistent. He just makes too many mistakes on the field and when you add in the off the field distractions with Meriweather the time had come to let him go.
The safety position in New England has been shaken up big time this summer. Patrick Chung is now the leader of the secondary and both Josh Barrett and James Ihedigbo find their way on the roster. I would expect Barrett to receive a lot of playing time, with Ihedigbo being a special teams star. I also wouldn’t be surprised if a veteran (Sharper?) is brought into the mix.
The Patriots decided to keep only 2 tight ends on the roster initially, cutting both Lee Smith and Will Yeatman. I would expect at least one to find his way onto the practice squad.
Belichick has decided to roll the dice and keep only 8 offensive linemen on the roster, by releasing G Thomas Austin and placing G Rich Ohrnberger on the IR. I believe a move will likely be made before week 1 to add depth, maybe Andre Gurode who was in Foxboro today for a visit. Also, as I write this Adam Schefter is reporting that former Pro Bowl G Brian Waters also visited Foxboro today. So, the Pats are definitely looking to make a move here.
The lone UDFA to make the roster this year was ILB/ST Jeff Tarpinian. Although he was hurt most of camp he really stood out on ST early in camp. I suspect once the smoke clears he will end up on the practice squad in place of a veteran free agent signing.
The releasing of DE Eric Moore today came as a surprise to me. I thought he played well last year and in the preseason. I liked his versatility and Bill Belichick spoke highly of him at times. His release is Mark Anderson’s gain, as he is probably a better situational pass rusher than Moore.
Our defensive line this year is loaded. The Pats decided to keep 10 defensive linemen total including DT Gerard Warren, Kyle Love and Myron Pryor. Meanwhile DT Ron Brace and DE/DT Brandon Deaderick were placed on PUP. I expect multiple fronts and a lot of rotation on the front 7 this year.
CB Antwaun Molden made the team after playing a pretty good game on Thursday night. Making the team after such a short period of time in camp goes to show what Belichick must think of him. Darius Butler also made the squad after rumors that the team was trying to trade him. Keeping 6 corners was one more than I thought they would.
Brandon Tate, like many had predicted was also cut today. I can’t say this came as a surprise. Tate started out so well last year, but was really inconsistent as a WR. With the change in kickoff rules his value was diminished.
As of now the Patriots have decided to keep only 23 offensive players, but would expect almost all of them to be active on game days. Having 7 linebackers on this team in my opinion is 1 too many and we would be better served adding another safety.
While this is the roster as of now, I would be SHOCKED if we don’t make at least 1 move in the next 2 days. We have an extremely deep and talented roster with the only two real holes. One at safety and the other at OG/C. Both are thin and any signing would be considered a depth signing,
injuries occur quickly and those players will be needed. If we make a move to strengthen those positions, then this team has no glaring holes to fill.
Tags: Roster Moves