New England Patriots Bonus Weekend Links 9/01/12 - Shaking Out the Roster

Maybe we'll catch you later Deion.

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.

Wide receiver 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.

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