On Monday, the New England Patriots announced the release of five players: Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert (who we knew about), fullback Tony Fiammetta, cornerback Malcolm Williams, tight end Brad Herman and defensive lineman Tracy Robertson.
Ebert's release was reported earlier today, and was anticipated after the team drafted wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce over the weekend. And like Ebert's release, the others come as no real surprise.
Fiammetta, 26, was the a standout of the new names. He was signed by the Patriots last offseason to come into camp and compete for the anticipated fullback role that Bill Belichick was pondering. He never did see the field for the Patriots, as he was placed on the team's Exempt/Reserve list with an apparent personal issue. His release is likely indicative that the Patriots' fullback (if they one) competition will be down between tight end by trade Michael Hoomanawanui and practice squader James Devlin.
Williams was another standout on the list of released players. The special teams player and cornerback played in four regular season games for the Patriots, recording two special teams tackles. The 2011 seventh-round selection out of TCU has had also several stints on the Patriots practice squad. The Patriots drafting Logan Ryan in the third round this weekend likely sealed Williams' fate as an immediate cut.
As for Herman and Robertson, the writing was on the wall.
Herman, who spent all of 2012 on Injured Reserve, was likely going to be a camp body at best for the Patriots. With the Patriots featuring Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Jake Ballard, Michael Hoomanawanui and Daniel Fells at the position, it was likely Herman would be lucky to end up with a practice squad spot.
Robertson, who signed on as a Patriots practice squad member on Jan. 1, fell victim to a matter of stature on the depth chart. The Patriots are already incredibly deep on the defensive line, and added ends Jamie Collins and Michael Buchanan during the Draft.
Stay tuned, as the team is likely to make several more roster moves in the coming days.