Field Yates passes along some quick-hit thoughts on a number of the players who were cut on Friday.
Safety Sergio Brown: Brown came on late in camp as a special-teams player, but remains a defensive liability. Without practice squad eligibility, he would likely return only in an injury situation. The Patriots have young safety depth in Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner, who both bring more to the table on defense.
Fullback Eric Kettani: The Patriots, for now, look ready to proceed without a fullback as the regular season commences. Kettani received extensive reps late in camp with Spencer Larsen on the sidelines, but was unable to generate enough stock to stick around on the active roster. He isn't a hammerhead lead blocker from the backfield, and the Patriots may feel that a player like Brandon Bolden provides hybrid ability as a running back/fullback. Kettani would be a strong practice squad candidate.
Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert: The only Patriots' draft pick to be waived, Ebert is probably a player who needs a full year of development before making an NFL impact. He missed extensive time early in camp, and was limited in terms of reps due to the Patriots' veteran receiving corps. Could see Ebert coming back as a practice squad member.
Linebacker Jeff Tarpinian: A year ago, Tarpinian was a feel-good undrafted rookie story who made the Patriots' active roster. He missed a chunk of the season due to injury, and had an at-times nondescript camp this year, unable to separate himself from fellow 'backer Mike Rivera. He could end up on another roster, and also has practice squad eligibility.
Tight end Alex Silvestro: Silvestro's effort as a converted tight end deserves a tip of the cap, as he's come quite a ways in just one offseason. Ultimately, he needs to refine his game at the position, and the Patriots are well-equipped with their current mix of tight ends. He too has practice squad eligibility, although with four tight ends on the active roster, the team may feel that the position isn't one where they currently need to develop a player.
Jesse Holley: Holley showed up a little bit on special teams, but the team has a number of other players who can bring a similar skill set as coverage players. His lack of offensive value likely hurt his case, too.
Greg A. Bedard thinks the Pats could still bring back Deion Branch after Week 1, and offers his analysis on Branch's release.
This was a surprise only after the Patriots released Jabar Gaffney and Donte' Stallworth. After that, you figured it would be worth it to keep Branch around just for leadership and experience, and the fact that he's still a reliable target in this system. Even then, I had him as a game-day inactive. Outside of New England, Branch has next to no value. He's fine in a 10-yard box, but is limited outside of that. That's why he didn't get any action on the free agent market. Right now the Patriots only have three legitimate receivers who can play right away: Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. Expect them to looking for a trade or on waivers for another receiver, preferably one that knows the Josh McDaniels' system from Denver or St. Louis. It's not a huge need because the Patriots are probably going to play with two WRs most of the time with Lloyd, Welker, Aaron Hernandez, Gronkowski and a RB. Or one WR, three TEs and a RB. Also, Shalise Manza Young is hearing the Patriots are on the lookout for FBs. McDaniels wants one.
- Patriots release 22 players and place rookie Jeff Demps on IR.
- Paul Perillo says it isn't surprising that Bill Belichick surprises us with some player-cuts every year at this time.
- Erik Scalavino clears up the DFR-IR confusion.
- Patriots Today - Former Pats honor American heroes. (2.20 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Players in motion. (1.37 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Spotlight on Chandler Jones. (2.02 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Fletcher focused on mental game. (2.02 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Cutdown day practice report. (1.20 min. video)
- Jeff Howe looks at the Patriots roster cuts, the release of some of Brady's favorite weapons and which ones may return.
- Greg A. Bedard shares some initial thoughts on the 52-man roster that is certain to change.
- Shalise Manza Young reports the Patriots let some big names go to reach the 53-man limit.
- Tom E. Curran offers a few notes on the moves made Friday and the 52-man roster as it stands.
- Christopher Price gives us his thoughts on the Patriots' roster moves. Only four WRs means the Pats will be relying on their TEs and RBs even more.
- Mike Petraglia distinguishes between what we do and don't know about the 2012 Patriots.
- Chad Finn says cutting Deion Branch, Dan Koppen and Brian Hoyer is a sign the Patriots have depth that many of us have not recognized yet.
- Tom E. Curran doesn't think Ryan Mallett is ready to be the number one backup.
- Mike Rodak resets the 53-man roster as it currently stands.
- Mike Reiss notes the Patriots' 53-man roster reflects a defensive overhaul entering 2012.
- Mike Rodak sorts the current roster by contract length.
- Tom E. Curran ties the Dieon Branch cut to the Pats tight ends. He sees where the move comes from after a bit of reflecting.
- Mike Rodak reports Jabar Gaffney would prefer to return to New England once he's healthy, according to the Miami Herald.
- Mike Rodak reports DB Ross Ventrone received an injury settlement from the team and was released from IR. He can return six weeks after the length of the settlement.
- Mike Reiss, Mike Rodak and Field Yates each identify three players who were released from other teams that might be of interest to the Patriots.
- Mike Reiss holds himself and his crew accountable for their projections of the 53-man roster, and who the Patriots actually kept.
- Mike Rodak revisits his 'Bubble watch' list one month later to see how it all shook out.
- Jeff Howe Patriots Notebook: Dane Fletcher is still getting treatment to reduce the swelling in his knee in advance of his scheduled surgery next week; DE Chandler Jones is still giddy over playing "Madden 13" as himself; Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, Stevan Ridley and Tracy White all returned to practice yesterday.
- Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) Brady's African relief efforts spur dedication already matched on field.
- James Walker (ESPN) New England Patriots cut-down analysis. Here's the rest of the AFC East: Jets - Bills - Fins.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Notable vets among NFL roster cuts. "This can't be a good day for Tom Brady."
- James Walker (ESPN) Final AFC East preseason stock watch.
- Chris Burke (SI) Momentum going both ways for some teams as preseason ends. AFC East a cause for concern.
- Tom Danyluk (Pro Football Weekly) Bill Belichick was headed into the Lombardi/Noll stratosphere. Then things changed.
- Eric Edholm (Pro Football Weekly) All-underrated NFL team. Aaron Hernandez and Zoltan Mesko make this list.
- Marc Sessler (NFL.com) QB Mike Kafka could be a Patriot, Packer, Brown or Chief.
- Gregg Rosenthal (NFL.com) Patriots place Olympian Jeff Demps on injured reserve.
- Peter King and Don Banks (SI) 2012 NFL Season Preview.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) New injured reserve rule could be more trouble than it's worth.