Patriots

Live blog: Here’s who won’t make New England’s 53-man roster

Teams had to trim their rosters from 80 to 53 players by Saturday at 4 p.m.

Bill Belichick.

zThe deadline for NFL teams to cut their rosters down to 53 players was Saturday at 4 p.m. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, teams were only allowed to carry 80 players (instead of the typical 90) throughout training camp, so there were fewer cuts than in previous years.

Players who were waived have a better chance of making the practice squad this year, as teams are permitted to carry 16 players (instead of the usual 10).

Here are the players the Patriots released:

Saturday, Sept. 5

  • Running back Lamar Miller: Miller signed with the Patriots in early August but missed several practices because he started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. Under the league’s new rules this season, Miller would be eligible for the practice squad, despite his years of NFL experience.
  • Quarterback Brian Lewerke: An undrafted rookie out of Michigan State, Lewerke was a longshot to make the roster with three quarterbacks already in the room.
  • Kicker Justin Rohrwasser: Rohrwasser was selected in the fifth round of the NFL draft in April.
  • Kicker Nick Folk: Folk, who filled in as the starting kicker last season, was brought back during training camp. The 35-year-old was presumed to be the starting kicker following Rohrwasser’s release. The Patriots now do not have a kicker on their active roster.
  • Wide receiver Jeff Thomas: An undrafted rookie out of Miami, Thomas is known for his speed and raw talent. During his three-year college career, Thomas was suspended multiple times for undisclosed rule violations. If he clears waivers, he could be an ideal option for the practice squad.
  • Wide receiver Devin Ross: Ross spent last season on New England’s practice squad and is a strong candidate to return if he goes unclaimed.
  • Wide receiver Andre Baccellia: An undrafted rookie out of Washington, Baccellia did not have much time in Foxborough, having signed on Aug. 29.
  • Wide receiver Isaiah Zuber: An undrafted rookie out of Mississippi State, Zuber was seen as a longshot to make the roster, given the level of competition among wide receivers.
  • Fullback Paul Quessenberry: Quessenberry had been out of football for five years, serving in the Marines during that time, before making a push to play in the NFL.
  • Running back J.J. Taylor: An undrafted rookie out of Arizona, Taylor put forth a strong showing at training camp and will likely join the practice squad if he goes unclaimed.
  • Defensive back Myles Bryant: An undrafted rookie out of Washington, Bryant earned the nickname “I.T.” from Devin and Jason McCourty because of his similarities to former Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas. He’s another name to watch for the practice squad.
  • Cornerback D’Angelo Ross: Ross missed all of last season on injured reserve.
  • Center Tyler Gauthier: Gauthier, who went undrafted in 2019, has yet to play in an NFL game. He spent part of last season on New England’s practice squad.
  • Tight end Jake Burt: Burt, a Lynnfield native, attended Boston College and St. Johns Prep in Danvers.
  • Tight end Rashod Berry: An undrafted rookie out of Ohio State, Berry was potentially going to make a position change to defensive end.
  • Tight end Paul Butler: The Patriots signed the 27-year-old Butler on Aug. 17. After going undrafted in 2018, Butler has yet to play in an NFL game. The bulk of his professional career has been spent on the Oakland Raiders’ practice squad.
  • Linebacker Cassh Maluia: Maluia was selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft in April.
  • Linebacker Scoota Harris: Harris, an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, was given a $140,000 guarantee in his deal, marking the highest guarantee of undrafted free agent deals for the Patriots since 2013.
  • Linebacker Terez Hall: Hall, 23, spent last season on New England’s practice squad.
  • Defensive lineman Xavier Williams: Williams, 28, was signed on Aug. 22. He has playing experience with the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals.
  • Defensive lineman Nick Thurman: Thurman, 25, spent last season on New England’s practice squad.
  • Defensive end Tashawn Bower: Bower, 25, was a member of New England’s practice squad last season. He suffered a torn Achilles during the 2019 offseason.
  • Defensive tackle Bill Murray: Murray signed with the Patriots in April after going undrafted out of William & Mary. As a senior last season, Murray blocked four kicks. He has 10 blocks in his college career.
  • Offensive linemen Ben Braden: Braden, 26, spent the last three seasons with the New York Jets.

Thursday, Sept. 3

The Patriots released wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, defensive lineman Michael Barnett, and cornerback Michael Jackson.

Sanu joined the Patriots last fall in a trade with the Falcons for a second-round pick. He had 10 catches for 81 yards against the Ravens in his second game but injured his ankle returning a punt in Philadelphia a week later. He finished the season with 26 catches for 207 yards. 

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“I have a lot of respect for Mo, but ultimately things just didn’t work out,” coach Bill Belichick said Friday. “I think he tried very hard, I think we tried hard. I don’t think it was anybody’s fault or anything like that. It was just one of those situations that just didn’t work out as well as everyone hoped it would have when the transaction was made.”

Barnett, a rookie out of Georgia, signed with the Patriots on Aug. 24. Jackson was acquired in a trade with the Lions; the Patriots sent an undisclosed 2022 pick to Detroit for the 2019 fifth-round pick out of Miami.

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