Patriots Cut Roster to 51 – Far From Finished

Zoltan Mesko’s time as a Patriot ended on Saturday.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

After all the projecting and prognosticating the Patriots cut their roster down to the league mandate of 53. Actually the Patriots took it a step further and cut the roster to 51. As is always the case there were a few surprises and this year an unprecedented number of rookies on the roster.

Here is how the Patriots roster breaks down and what could be in store over the weekend as the Patriots try to finalize their team.

Here is how the current roster breaksdown:

Quarterbacks (2): Tom Brady, Ryan Mallett

Running Backs (5): Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Leon Washington, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden

Fullback (1): James Develin

Receivers (6) Danny Amendola, Kenbrell Thompkins, Aaron Dobson, Julian Edelman, Josh Boyce, Matthew Slater

Tight Ends (3): Rob Gronkowski, Zach Sudfeld, Michael Hoomanawanui

Offensive Tackles (3): Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, Will Svitek

Interior OL (5): Logan Mankins, Dan Connolly, Ryan Wendell, Marcus Cannon, Josh Kline

Defensive Ends (4): Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Michael Buchanan, Jake Bequette

Defensive Tackles (3): Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Joe Vellano

Linebackers (6): Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Dane Fletcher, Steve Beauharnais

Cornerbacks (5): Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard, Logan Ryan, Kyle Arrington, Marquice Cole

Safties (5): Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory, Duron Harmon, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner

Specialists (3): Ryan Allen, Stephen Gostkowski, Danny Aiken

Open Roster Spots (2)

Roster Thoughts

1) The Patriots chose to cut their roster to 51, two below the league limit. This means it’ll be a busy few days for the team as they attempt to put the finishing touches on their 2013 roster. Last season the Patriots claimed Matt Tennant off waivers and traded for WR Greg Salas the day after cutdowns. With two open roster spots and a few tenuous players still left, I expect the Patriots to be one of the more active teams tomorrow.

2) The first thing that stands out when looking at the roster is the lack of depth on the defensive line. By cutting Jermaine Cunningham, Marcus Benard, Marcus Forston and Justin Francis the Patriots have left themselves exposed if an injury comes up. It’s a near certainty that the Patriots add at least one player to the mix and possibly one at both DE and DT. While on the topic of the DL, Joe Vellano an undrafted All-American from Maryland makes his way onto the roster. Vellano was one of my favorite prospects during the draft process, mainly for his unmatched work ethic and effort on the field. We’ll see how long Vellano sticks around.

3) Last year the Patriots offense was built around the tight end position. This year after one off-season murder and a back injury the Patriots choose to keep only three TEs and two healthy ones on the active roster. This is another position where I expect the Patriots to be active. Daniel Fells had fallen out of favor and carried a big cap hit, Jake Ballard couldn’t get healthy and as a result the front office has been burning up the phones looking for another tight end. Keep an eye on this position tomorrow.

4) Ryan Allen beats out fan favorite Zoltan Mesko for the punting job. As I stated after the draft, the fact that the Patriots brought in a legitimate punter for competition wasn’t a good sign for Mesko. Mesko had a sizable cap hit and was a free agent at season’s end, which meant he could be replaced. Allen is a two-time Ray Guy award winner and was considered one of the top punting prospects in the 2013 draft. While Mesko is the better punter right now, Ryan Allen has a stronger leg and offers a higher ceiling. It’s Allen’s stronger leg combined with a minimum salary and team control that tipped the scales in his favor.

5) As of now the Patriots 51 man roster consists of 12 rookies, seven of which were drafted and an unprecedented five priority free agents. The entire 2013 Patriots draft class made the roster and look pretty secure in their standing. Five undrafted free agents is a large number for one season, but Kenbrell Thompkins and Zach Sudfeld aren’t typical free agents. Both players secured starting roles with standout performances in training camp. Ryan Allen won the punter’s job, which means he is essentially a starter and Joe Vellano is the lone backup at defensive tackle. The only UDFA that maybe in trouble if other roster moves are made is OG Josh Kline. Personally I thought Kline struggled this preseason and was surprised to see him on the roster. It’s likely if the Patriots find an interior OL they like on the waiver wire then Kline will be the odd man out. With that being said, having 11-12 rookies on the team reflects nicely on the job the scouting staff did to identify talent. It also means the Patriots have a large chunk of their roster made up of cheap, team friendly contracts.

6) Besides Josh Kline, there are a few more guys that probably shouldn’t celebrate too hard tonight. Nate Ebner, Leon Washington, James Develin and Joe Vellano are all players that could be cut if the Patriots find veterans they like better on waivers.

7) It rare to see the Patriots carry more than 4-5 running backs. This year they kept 6 running backs on the active roster, making it a position of strength and depth. Leon Washington and Brandon Bolden, both found their way onto the roster despite being on the bubble. Washington and Bolden are both special teams contributors and it likely helped their case to make the team. James Develin had a solid training camp, but I was still surprised to see him make the team. He’s basically a traditional fullback that doesn’t offer much in terms of run production. With 6 RBs expect the Patriots to utilize more two back formations and get their offensive weapons on the field together.

8) Adrian Wilson has to be the biggest disappointment of camp. When he was signed in March everyone had huge expectations and started dreaming of what he could do on this defense. Today he was placed on IR with a (cough, cough) with a hamstring injury, ending his season. Quite simply, Wilson isn’t the player he once was and lost more than one step in coverage. It’s a shame because I really don’t like their alternatives at safety. Although I do think Steve Gregory gets unfairly criticized at times.

9) The wide receiver spot was the most unsettled heading into the summer. As it turns out the position was actually one of the best in camp and the easiest to cut down.

10) Tim Tebow will be missed. It didn’t work out and it might be time to put the QB dream on the back burner. I’m sure Tim Tebow is going to do great things and touch many lives once he leaves football.

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28 Responses to “Patriots Cut Roster to 51 – Far From Finished”

  1. gatorade says:

    Kevan makes more sense than all you vile haters. Your biased attitude relates not only to a fine football player but a decent human being which is more than can be said for 75% of the Nfl players. If Tebow were black or muslim you wouldn’t have the guts to spew your non-football poison. You are the epitomy of what is wrong with this country. Kevan rules because he doesn’t deal in dumb bias. Compare the college play of this punk Manziel to Tebow. Manziel is a great player but looks like a sad human. Tebow was great in both yet the haters scorned Tebow. Have you haters condemned Manziel yet? Some people are starting to get on Johnny Jackrabbit for CONDUCT. And that is good. Most NFL players have bad conduct but it is ignored. But theye sure couldn’t get on Tim for his conduct so they whined about other personal things like religion. You guys got things ass-backwards. But Tebow is probably finished in football now mainly for his lack of acceptable NFL qb play. But did you punks really have to shovel all the other crap on the guy? .

    • acm says:

      Do yourself and the world a favor and stick to having wet dreams about Timmy T in the middle of bible class … leave the relevant matters to others.

  2. gatorade says:

    steve earl is a know-it-all egotist who constantly seeks attention. get a life. acm has a sick, wise guy empty mind.

  3. steve earle says:

    Geeze will someone please hold these guys coats while they go outside so the rest of us can talk football again?

  4. kevan says:

    this will b the third time ive said this but i just wanna be clear. im not a christian, i enjoy learning about all religions to better understand people. steve, i dont kno u but if i had to go off your post i would say your a hypocritical idiot. not calling you that just saying thats the way you presented yourself, strictly commentary. i was pullin for tebow to make the roster, i gotta thing for underdogs. with that being said, he got his shot and BB decided not to keep him. i respect, understand, and trust his decision. what i dont get is your all out bash on the guy because you disagree with his opinions and beliefs. why not keep it about football dude? would of been real easy to say he looked like crap get rid of him, done, end of story. there was no tebow circus in foxborough, he fell into the patriots way pretty smoothly, he was not on the mic fightin for attention to scream his morals or ethics, he was quite, worked hard and that was it. furthermore, i didnt see the fundamentalist christian fans on here, impervious to football knowledge, praising the guy, talking him up saying how great he is. it was all about football untill you went on your anti religion, pro science rant. is it annoying he gets so much undeserved attention, yes. are there alot of good people in the NFL that dont get as much attention, yes. with all religion there is a chance for the brainwashing elements to be there, the tendency for it to be cultish. you every wonder why the word cult is in the word CULTure? tebow is who is, i dont judge people like that man. i would bring up the positives of my view not the negatives of someone elses. it just comes across like an immature bitter temper tantrum. you even admitted to accusing the guy of steroids with no shred of evidence, you speculate to bring the guy down because you vehemently disagree with his views. look all anyone would have to do to get an idea of how bad religion can be, is pick up a good history book. its well documented. am i to judge all christians the same because there are some, or alot, of bad ones? same goes for hindus, muslims,taoists,buddists,ect. no, ill judge the individual and by all accounts tebow is a genuinly good person even if it is talked about too much, and despite his “brainwashed upbringing’. the best is your portrayal of science as some benelovant force in the world for good. while it does alot of good, again, just go get a book to see how bad it can potentially be. agent orange,ciggarettes,atomic bomb,nuclear bombs,fukashima,bp oil spill,chemicals in our food, these were all brought to you by science. the list can on and on and on. both science and religion can be good or bad, its a choice. money is not the root of evil, religion is not evil, nor science. its people and what they choose to do. those things are just extensions of the individuals psyche, you follow? im not gonna sit here and say race doesnt play a part. the white america establishment is always pullin that crap and i dont agree with it either, but i wonder if you had the same problem with reggie white(RIP) when he talked about his beliefs, or brian dawkins. just sayin. to top all this absurdity off, in your very next post, you say just judge the guy on football! and that you dont care about the guys religion one way or the other! what a hypocrtical contradiction if ive ever seen one, because obviously you do care. why dont you stop with your BS and NONSENSE. your cheap and lazy thoughts are unoriginal and ridiculous at best. go read a book.

    • steve says:

      I’ve read more than my share of books, and many on science and religion. So, you are saying that Tebow hasn’t used his platform here, but has he used it in the past? The answer is yes, and he’s an adult, and I am expressing my opinion that I don’t find it healthy…not for him or society…he’s a brainwashed religious nut, and the media automatically goes overboard in saying that because of this he’s some wonderful guy. How do they know? That’s my main point.
      Your views on science are idiotic…next time you get sick go and pray and see what happens. I’ll got to science…a medical doctor…and stand on the shoulders of giants and all their achievements. Religions is a negative influence on this planet…always has been and continues to be…just flick on the news genius. Why aren’t women allowed to be priests in the Catholic Church? To me that’s child abuse to all Catholic girls…telling them that their creator has set forth rules that disallow them (women) from being in that position of power…that they are just not quite good enough (notice the spelling of “quite”).

      There’s wasn’t a media circus? Tebow has been on this page, every site, every news program, and when he was cut he was on the front page of every major newspaper/site nationally….a 3rd string QB; is that not a circus? I like to see one if that wasn’t, and don’t think the sideshow is over yet…it will last another week or so around here, and wherever he ends up next it will continue on.

      I am an admitted anti-theist…I know a great deal about all the worlds religions…read Plethero, Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris, Hume, Miller…watch The History of Disbelief and then you’ll be around 1% to where I am on the subject.

      I’m a Pats fan, and I’m a football fan. I leave Tebow alone when he stops being the story because of his faith and/or the media stops putting him on a pedestal because of his twisted beliefs. I was clearly stating this fact, and I mentioned, CLEARLY, that I was speculating, or whatever about his steroids…but, I wasn’t about his hypocritical past by being a part of a corrupt football program (as if he didn’t know it was crooked?)…please…get a grip.

      You’re pulling for the underdog…well, look in the mirror dude…You’re the fool…so pull for yourself because you ARE the underdog with that logic.

      I’ll keep it to football when Tebow’s act is out of football; at least I had the balls to speak my mind and tell it like it is…from my opinion, which I stated and can be assumed from this forum (a blog, idiot). I’m sure there are plenty in the mainstream media who would love to go off as I have, and plenty have pushed pretty close, but because of people like you, who can’t listen to REASON, and get offended when religion or beliefs are questioned or even attacked, these talking heads can’t say what’s on their minds…because they’d be fired for speaking the truth, sponsors would run away from this. So, this is just another way the system of religion is perpetuated…it’s a meme (look it up, an external gene, coined by Richard Dawkins in the Selfish Gene, but that’s a science book and doesn’t have any, or many, illustrations for the likes of you).

      Go Pats…

      P.S. I was thinking that BB was throwing the kid a bone also…giving him a shot, and I wasn’t against it either. But, I wasn’t pulling for him be on this roster, and only because I wanted the team to carry 2 QB’s and give the slot to another position of need; especially seeing the youth and lack of depth at too many positions. I also didn’t want to hear from all the knuckleheads who continue to put this kid at the top of every news story and headline (circus, as you deny) wondering what his role will be, how his game is coming alone, will he come in on short distance situations, blah, blah, blah. I don’t have to hear this now…I’m relieved, allow me this please, I’m sure I’m not alone. I want to watch a football game…that’s the point.

      You want to continue talking about books…be my guest…I’ve read more last year than you have in your lifetime, that much I know from your writing and misunderstanding; not to mention your ignorance.

      • kevan says:

        ok here we go. first forgive me if i mispell a word on this post ill try not to, im sure you will correct me if i do. a nice cheap way of acting more intelligent then you really are. i think i expressed the bad parts of religion in my post. i didnt disagree with it having the tendency to be cult like and being potentially brainwashing. im not totally disagreeing with you. its the peoples fault not religion. if you have a golfball size consiousness, you will have a golfball size awareness and understanding of whatever you are trying to interpret, reguardless of how many books you read. your hammering away with your views just as he does, whats the difference? its also redundant because ive already aknowledged that religion can be bad. your needlessly making the same point twice, and assuming im a religious guy though i clearly said i wasnt. how exactly are my views on science idiotic? did i say anything untrue? no i didnt. i listed bad things that science is responsible for. the list could be alot longer too. try and refute that and your the idiot. as long as were talkin facts and not about opinions and beliefs that is. im not throwing science under the bus either, again i blame the INDIVIDUAL person using religion or science as a vehichle to do bad things. sounds to me your real problem is with the media turning tebow into some kind of poster boy. and i agree with you like i did in my first post, it is annoying. im just not gonna hate on tebow for it, i just accept it and move on, easy, done. you can go to a doctor i dont care, doctors told us ciggs werent bad for us when there wasnt any mainsream info on it. the whole sick care system is a fraudulent joke anyway. 200 years ago we didnt have child diabetes, cancer in astronimical rates, obesity ect ect. so if it makes you sleep better at night yea go, but your doctor is not gonna save you he or she is gonna make money. my whole point is this was all football talk til you decided to go on your rant. your guilty of the same thing they do with your absolutists views. you did what tebow does, isnt that funny? you said you have balls for speaking your mind on irrelevant positions you take that have nothing to do with football, on a football forum you goofball. i expected this from the christians, not from a man of science with all his reason and logic haha what a joke. to me i thought it was classic to watch BB smash the tebow circus, it was worth it just for that yes. and ill pass on being one percent of where you are, thank you but i walk my own path, i dont attach myself to anyone idea weather its from science or religion. im not impressed with your booklist if anything you are trying to prove yourself and it shows a lack of maturity. now tebow is guilty because other people at florida did wrong doing. garbage, the whole ncaa system is corrupt and were all guilty if thats the case. your problem is you dont have any dirt on the guy as much as you try to find it. you dont like him because you disagree with his worldview and you had to let everyone know about it like a child. not real scientific to accuse someone with no evidence is it? which you amitted atleast this much. and why do you insist on putting me in this religious category, can you friggin read? illistrations, really? your being serious? wow you are so smart , your right i am an underdog. you know where that term came from? its from a horse that won some races quite a few years back, read about it in a book! i look in the mirror all the time its cool dude. and now the whole whose read more books syndrome. no i have no i have. next we`ll be arguing about whose dad is tougher. haha perposterous, erroneous on both accounts! look all ill say is i like to read. whose read more, dont know dont care. i compete with myself. to say youve read more in a year is ignorant cuz really you dont know man. this will be my last post on this discussion, i was just disappointed to see other stuff on a football comment box, owell. feel free to get the last laugh in smart man i know your childlike instincts wont be able to help it. GO PATS.

  5. J H TARBORO says:

    C’ MON Mark Harrison and Armond Armstead.

  6. munchkin says:

    I read that D Watkins had lost his desire for the game. Shouldn’t be on too many team’s short lists.
    Kline did seen like an odd choice to make the roster. Points to what the coaching staff sees that we don’t. Dante had an eye for the subtleties of the O line.

  7. Bruschi54 says:

    DT Marvin Austin was cut by the Giants, he might be a guy to backup Vince & Kelly. Came into the league with a ton of promise and great physical skills, not sure what went wrong in Gotham?

  8. steve says:

    Another question for the staff:

    I thought teams had to spend to the cap, how can they be so far under going into the season? Are they playing games or skirting something here?

  9. steve says:

    I think Collins, as I said 3 weeks ago, presented a big challenge to A. Wilson, perhaps I’m dead wrong, but I saw an overlap in skills, with Collins having the squad made and much faster at this point. I’m not surprised. I would be curious to see if he ends up playing in the packages and positions (not pure safety) that Wilson was being thought to have a solid hold on.

  10. steve says:

    One of the happier days of my football life….no more Tebow; I’m sure the talk will continue on for another week or so, but I’ll take that over a full season plus…any day!!!

    If I hear one more time, “what a good kid” about him I’m going to puke. I’m a white, middle-class guy, and I don’t hear this talk so much about any young African American kids who are cut…they are simply cut. I’m sure many of them are very good kids, young men, also…In fact, I’m sure of it. So, why is this the repeated cliché with Tebow? Is it because he’s an outspoken religious guy. Well, I see religion as a negative, so I don’t care if he has this great “faith” (following some nonsense because his mommy, daddy and community jammed it down his throat…brainwashed him etc…). So, seeing he’s an adult and a public personality, and also has used his celebrity to “spread the good word” (BS) to the world, I don’t cut him slack for this…I didn’t want it on my team…I didn’t want to hear the nonsense. I want to watch football and not be witness to this wannabe saint/soldier.

    Good kid…who cares?

    The league is filled with good guys, and a good amount of punks; so, just because someone is an polite and openly (obnoxiously) religious doesn’t make it such of an obligation to always mention him as a “great, great human being”…blah, blah, blah. I pity the guy…he’s been brainwashed, I don’t want him to spread his viral cult mythology via my football team, and the Krafts and BB should have some sense of this sentiment being alive and growing in their community.

    This great kid plays a violent game, he played for a cheating coach in college, a corrupt system and program; if he were really trying to be like Jesus he would have spoken up. He probably did his share of roids also…the guy is jacked, but that’s speculation on my part, admittedly. Great kids are those that are fighting through our educational system with honesty and hard work and trying to solve diseases via science and possibly to become better educators going forward.

    Stop jamming this BS down my throat because I’m gagging over here…it’s racist, and it’s nonsense, and it cheap ratings and lazy reporting at best.

    • acm says:

      Amen … pun intended 🙂

    • steve earle says:

      Judging him only by his play seems right that he was cut. Don’t care one way or the other about his religion. Still never did understand all the media hype about the guy.

      • steve says:

        There are tons of religious players in the league…I don’t care about them too much, but Tebow has taken it to another level, and he’s an adult. I will speak my mind on the issue because he brought it to the show, not me.

  11. steve says:

    Question to the staff, or anyone that knows 100%:

    Why would A. Wilson go on season ending IR at his age showing he didn’t have the ability any longer? Is this a case were the player (and agent, possibly) are not happy with what seems to be his use during the pre-season, and seeing the writing on the wall etc…so they (not the team) claim to have a serious injury (one that may have been lingering technically) and then force the team to use the IR and therefore they get paid for the full season…avoiding an outright cut???

    In this case you would think the Pats wouldn’t really want him back next season…he’s clearly in a decline which started last year, if not the year before. Wouldn’t they simply cut him and avoid having to pay him anything going forward?

  12. acm says:

    With all that depth at DL getting cut today, I think they may be getting ready to take Armstead off the NFI list. Even then a DT or DE would still be needed, though but probably not both.
    another TE is a must and quality at S is practically non-existent either once you look beyond DMC. I hope they are planning to fix the S position ’cause I don’t wanna spend another postseason watching Gregory getting thrown around like a yo-yo when the opposition gets tough.
    Klein and one of T. Wilson/Ebner could well make room if the right opportunity presents itself.

    Keeping both Devlin and Hooman on the roster could be a sign the O is getting ready to heavily rely on the running game imo, considering the lack of experience at WR.

    • steve earle says:

      I was wondering the same about Armstead even then like you say another D-linemen would be good. Maybe someone who could fit inside or out? It does make sense that the running game will be a focus at least until the new WR’s get some games under their belts. I’d really like to see Bill pick up another OG/C because Connelly still not 100% and Kline worries me if he has to step in for anything more then a game here or there.

    • Steve P says:

      The NFI is exactly like the PUP list. As Armstead was placed on the regular season NFI, that means he won’t be eligible to come back until after week 6.

      • acm says:

        wasn’t aware it was the regular season NFI list he was on (thought it was the pre-season one). Well, in that case he will be out for a while. Too bad he can’t practice with the squad during this time.

  13. Kyle says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t see any WR’s included in your roster breakdown.

    I am surprised by the number of RB’s kept, especially when considering we kept a true FB for some reason. I think the team should add a DT, a DE, OG and a TE prior to the season’s beginning. This means they can ditch Kline as well as Ebner or Develin.

    I still don’t trust Bequette either, though I understand keeping him given the high pick used on him.

    • steve earle says:

      You make some very good points here and hit the targets on where to try to add players. Tonights info (leage wise) is pretty spotty, do you have any thoughts on who Bill might be hoping to bring in?

      • Kyle says:

        Tough to say at this point, but I have heard there may be some interest in G Danny Watkins. TE Tony Moeaki was cut earlier, so they may want to give him a look if he is not injured. i wouldn’t be surprised if DE Marcus Benard was brought back during the season for cheap if nobody signs him. Not sure about a DT though, probably an UDFA who recently got cut.

        • steve earle says:

          Maybe they bring back one of the young guys we just cut if no up-grades can be had. I could live with that. Tommrow’s papers may give us a clearer picture about who might be available.

        • Steve P says:

          One option for some depth on the D-line is Antonio Garay, who was just released from the Jets. Yeah, he’s getting older, but he had pretty good seasons in 2010 and 2011.

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