Patriots cuts

The following are the Patriots’ cuts, with a brief note of analysis:

Quarterbacks:
No cuts

Who’s left: Tom Brady, Doug Flutie, Matt Cassel

Analysis: No surprise, although we wonder if the Patriots considered putting Cassel on the practice squad to open up another roster spot. That was probably too risky.

Running backs:
Kory Chapman
Kyle Eckel

Who’s left: Corey Dillon, Kevin Faulk and Patrick Pass

Analysis: No surprise. Chapman and Eckel just didn’t contribute enough on special teams to warrant a spot.

Wide receivers:
Bam Childress
PK Sam
David Terrell

Who’s left: Deion Branch, David Givens, Troy Brown, Tim Dwight, Andre Davis and Bethel Johnson.

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Analysis: Terrell was a big disappointment after signing a one-year deal with a $200,000 signing bonus and Sam is a tough cut. Sam was the youngest player drafted in 2004 and he signed a five-year deal as a fifth-round pick. But Davis and Johnson beat him out, with Johnson’s speed and value on kickoff returns too valuable to part with.

Offensive Line:
Jeff Roehl
Victor Leyva
Billy Yates
Gene Mruczkowski

Who’s left: Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neal, Tom Ashworth, Nick Kazcur, Russ Hochstein, Brandon Gorin

Analysis: Mruczkowski is a bit of a surprise as the Patriots developed him for two years. But Hochstein deems him expendable with the ability to back up both guards spots, center, and perhaps even right tackle in an emergency. It was probably between Gorin and Mruczkowski for the eighth spot, and Gorin’s experience won out.

Tight End:
Jed Weaver
Joel Jacobs

Who’s left: Daniel Graham, Benjamin Watson, Christian Fauria

Analysis: We thought four might be a possibility but Weaver, who started strong in training camp, tailed off at the end.

Defensive Line:
Tom Sverchek
Rodney Bailey

Who’s left: Richard Seymour, Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Jarvis Green, Marquise Hill, Dan Klecko, Mike Wright

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Analysis: Stunner to see Wright, a rookie free agent from Cincinnati, make it over Rodney Bailey, whom the Patriots signed last year as a restricted free agent for $1.3 million. Bailey was coming off a torn Achilles that cost him all of the 2004 season.

Linebackers
Andre Torrey
Eric Alexander
Grant Steen

Who’s left: Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, Rosevelt Colvin, Chad Brown, Monty Beisel, Larry Izzo, Don Davis, Matt Chatham, Tully Banta-Cain, Wesly Mallard

Analysis: Alexander could return on the practice squad, but his coach at LSU, Nick Saban, might try to scoop him up now that he’s head coach of the Dolphins. Mallard’s strong effort vs. the Giants might have put him over the top for a spot. A lot of special teams contributors in this group.

Cornerback:
No cuts

Who’s left: Asante Samuel, Randall Gay, Tyrone Poole, Ellis Hobbs, Chad Scott, Duane Starks

Analysis: Team keeps six, which is a bit high. But based on the way the position was ravaged last year, and Chad Scott’s ability to drop back and play safety, this protects the team

Safety:
Ray Ventrone

Who’s left: Eugene Wilson, Rodney Harrison, James Sanders, Guss Scott

Analysis: No surprise. Sanders and Scott add special teams value and figure to be part of the game-day 45-man roster.

Specialists:
No cuts

Who’s left: Adam Vinatieri (kicker), Josh Miller (punter), Lonie Paxton (long snapper)

Analysis: No surprise as the competition for each player was already cut.

More to come a bit later in the night.

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–Mike

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