Looking at the cuts

Some quick thoughts on the cuts/roster moves the Patriots announced:

  • First of all, don’t read much into which guys made the first cut, and which ones didn’t. The cut to 75 is usually about two things: paying respect to veterans by giving them a chance to find another job early, and filling out a roster for the final preseason game.
  • People on Twitter are trying to tell me it says something that Jeremy Ebert and/or Jesse Holley made the first cut instead of Jabar Gaffney and/or Donte’ Stallworth. No, it doesn’t. Gaffney, who has been out since Aug. 15 with a quad pull, wasn’t going to play against the Giants. Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker and Deion Branch certainly weren’t going to play much if at all. So who are you going to play for four quarters against the Giants? Holley, Ebert, former Viking Kerry Taylor and likely a little of Julian Edelman and Matthew Slater.
  • I don’t expect Taylor to make the 53. He’s likely here as a body for the Giants game and perhaps goes to the practice squad.
  • Don’t know how anybody can be shocked about Gaffney’s release considering we know nothing about the medical reports. Maybe he’s going to be out a month. Maybe the Patriots didn’t want to carry him and risk having to waive a guy like Danny Woodhead. Gaffney could be back at some point, you never know. He really wanted to come here after being released by the Redskins. He has already pocketed a $250,000 signing bonus. Maybe he’ll be back when he’s healthy or when his salary isn’t guaranteed after Week 1.
  • Donte’ Stallworth dropped too many passes. I didn’t see him making this team. Bill Belichick had a great deal of respect personally for Stallworth, so he did him the service of an early release to find the best situation at his next team.
  • The releases of DTs Tim Bulman and Gerard Warren were expected, and was CB Ross Ventrone.
  • CB Will Allen, S Josh Barrett and FB Spencer Larsen — placed on injured reserve — all struggled with injury, and were long shots to make the roster.
  • The Patriots signed 19 free agents in the offseason. There are seven left: TE Visanthe Shiancoe, LB Bobby Carpenter, CB Marquice Cole, TE Daniel Fells, WR Brandon Lloyd, LB Trevor Scott and S Steve Gregory. I think all of them make the roster with Scott the possible lone exception.
  • Funny how the Patriots are back to their same WRs as last year plus Lloyd after all the talk about how many receivers there were.
  • These cuts reinforce that this will be a TE-heavy offense, with at least three playing a lot of snaps. The Patriots will usually use two WRs, and I see Aaron Hernandez as the defacto third WR, just like he was last year. Lloyd replaces Branch, who is the emergency backup.
  • That Dan Koppen was not released should be taken as a sign that he will be on the 53-man roster. If he wasn’t going to be, Belichick would/should have released Koppen out of respect so he had the best chance of finding another job.

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Who can beat the Patriots?
January 19, 2018 | 2:05 PM