FOXBOROUGH – In the coming weeks teams will have to make decision about how to trim their rosters and as a result the pool of potential picks-ups will only grow larger. As it does, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio acknowledged that he'll be reading some of the same training camp reports that every one else is. He'll just be reading them with a fair amount of skepticism.
“Yeah, but who's telling the truth?” he said with a smile. “Everybody has a varying opinion, a different opinion about, 'This guy's having a great camp, this guy's an all-star.' Until they actually go out there in the preseason and play and you can see them perform, that's really the best thing that you have to go off of.”
So in the first two weeks of the preseason, Caserio and his staff will track every roster, figuring out who has a fair chance of making a team and which players don't.
“There's going to be a vast amount of players that at different points are going to be released and become available,” Caserio said. “So our pro personnel staff will spend a lot of time going through and evaluating those players, doing write-ups and putting them in our system so that when we get to the final cut down, if there's a player we like or we want to claim him or we want to sign him however we want to handle that we'll try to be as prepared for that as we can.”
On Aug. 27, the week of the third preseason game, teams will have to trim their rosters from 90 to 75 players. The Patriots are right at 90 after a pair of moves yesterday. They claimed tackle Miami's rookie free agent Dustin Waldron off waivers and released offensive lineman Jamey Richards. Caserio said the Patriots actually worked Waldron out in the spring ahead of the draft. Dante Scarnecchia went out to Portland and spent the day with him.
“We'll bring him in, put him in the mix and see how he does,” Caserio said.
They also signed guard Derek Dennis, another Dolphins rookie free agent, putting the roster at 90. Caserio said the team kept an eye on Dennis when they were looking at Temple running back Bernard Pierce during the draft process.
“I think there's a lot of players that are still out there, so at this point in the year, you try to go back to your lists, the information you had on file,” Caserio said.
As far as trade talk at this point in the year, Caserio said there's always discussion.
“I'd say it's no different this year than it's been in year's past,” he said. “Could it happen? Yeah. Will it happen? It all depends. It's a case by case basis.”