With Friday's release of QB Andrew Walter, an updated projection of what the Patriots' initial 53-man roster might look like (with notes at end):
Quarterback (2): Brady, Hoyer
Quick hit: Hard to imagine they'll keep just two for the long-term, but for now, this allows more flexibility to keep a player elsewhere.
Running back (5): Faulk, Taylor, Maroney, Green-Ellis, Morris
Quick hit: On the bubble entering training camp, Green-Ellis has done everything possible to stick.
Tight end (3): Baker, Thomas, Watson
Quick hit: Watson is bumped down the depth chart, but his knowledge of the system makes him a valuable backup and gives him the edge over Alex Smith. Could see a trade here.
Receiver (6): Moss, Welker, Galloway, Lewis, Edelman, Aiken
Quick hit: Rookie Terrence Nunn has caught the eye, but cracking this group is tough; at the least. Would be on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Offensive line (9): Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur, Vollmer, Ohrnberger, Wendell, O’Callaghan
Quick hit: One of the offseason goals was to get younger in the backup spots.
Defensive line (7): Warren, Wilfork, Seymour, Green, Brace, Pryor, Wright
Quick hit: This might be the deepest group in the NFL, with Pryor -- a sixth-round pick -- a surprise performer.
Hybrid defensive end/linebacker (2): Burgess, Banta-Cain
Quick hit: Hopes for an improved pass rush in passing situations hinge on this duo.
Linebacker (7): Mayo, Thomas, Guyton, Woods, Alexander, Crable, Ninkovich
Quick hit: Thinnest group on the roster and could be a factor in the team playing more four-man line.
Cornerback (5): Springs, Bodden, Wilhite, Butler, Wheatley
Quick hit: Springs hasn’t been much of a factor in preseason, so they’ll need him to hit the ground running Sept. 14 against Terrell Owens.
Safety (4): Meriweather, Sanders, Chung, McGowan
Quick hit: Injury to Matthew Slater is projected as season-ending, otherwise he'd have a spot here as a special teams contributor; potentially opens the door for Ray Ventrone.
Specialists (3): Gostkowski (K), Hanson (P), Ingram (LS)
Quick hit: Consistent performance across the board in preseason.
TOUGHEST DECISIONS: Keeping a ninth offensive lineman (Wendell/O'Callaghan/Connolly)...Going thin at linebacker, as Paris Lenon could provide depth in the short-term, both on defense and on special teams, or perhaps Rob Ninkovich. ... What do with Matthew Slater's spot (is it a pure special teams player, or a player who has value elsewhere).