Sports Q

Who will be the Patriots’ surprise cut in training camp?

Rob Ninkovich looks on during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

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I know Patriots training camp is just starting, but I can’t help but think about what the final 53-man roster might look like. Seems to me they’re so deep that at least a couple established, well-known players could get let go. Any guesses who might be a surprise cut? I’m going with Stephen Gostkowski. – Chris J.


I suppose the sport’s cruel rate of attrition could change this over the next few months, but right now, I do think this is the deepest roster they have ever had, at least entering camp. The 2007 team may have featured more high-end talent, and 2010 is a fascinating season to look back on since it was one of subtle transition from one powerhouse to the next, with Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and Aaron Hernandez all on the roster at one point. But this team, right now, is Loaded, capital L. Their backups would be favored over the Jets’ starters by a touchdown. And they’d cover.

Surprise cuts? Hmmm. I don’t think Gostkowski will get cut, though it would certainly qualify as a surprise. He was shaky on extra points last year, missing three in the regular season and another in the Super Bowl. And at 33, he ain’t that young anymore, though I suppose we said the same about Adam Vinatieri a decade ago and he’s still kicking. But he’s a relative weapon on kickoffs, and I don’t see another kicker on the training camp roster at this point. He’s safe, I’d say.


I thought there might be a surprise cut such as Danny Amendola coming at the receiver position, but Andrew Hawkins’s retirement probably makes that somewhat less likely if it were ever likely at all. That position is as set as any on the roster. Linebacker is another uber-deep position, so perhaps there’s a surprise coming here. If David Harris has lost a step at 33, it could be him. Rob Ninkovich is a steady presence, but he’s also 33. It’s possible that Shea McClellin, Elandon Roberts, or Jonathan Van Noy gets let go. But those wouldn’t qualify as huge surprises.

I can’t see how Brandon Bolden sticks at running back, even as a special teams ace, but we’ve said that for about three years running now, and here he is, still. I do wonder if there’s a major surprise coming at that spot. Has James White surpassed Dion Lewis? I’d hope there’s room for both, but with Mike Gilleslee and Rex Burkhead arriving, there’s a lot of versatility and depth there. I just can’t imagine cutting Lewis, though. He’s their most dynamic runner when healthy.

I guess what I’m saying is I’m going to be surprised by the surprises. I’ll go with Ninkovich out of obligation to actually answer the question, but it would still raise my eyebrows given his standing with Bill Belichick.


So what do you guys think? Who will be the Patriots’ surprise cut in training camp? I’ll see you in the comments.


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