QB - 2
TE - 4
RB - 4
O-line - 8
WR - 5
minimum - 23
DT/NT - 4
DE - 4
LB - 6
SS - 2
FS - 2
CB - 4
minimum - 22
P/K/LS - 3 ................................... TOTAL: 48
QB - Brady, Mallet
RB - Ridley, Vereen
TE - Gronk, Hernandez
O-line - Mankins, Solder, Vollmer, Connolly, Wendell
WR - Amendola, Dobson
DT - Wilfork
DE - Jones, Ninkovich
LB - Hightower, Mayo, Collins
S - McCourty, Wilson
CB - Arrington, Dennard, Talib, Ryan
28 players are locks, even if through PUP or IR.
Everyone else will be based on HEALTH, PERFORMANCE, future POTENTIAL, age/length remaining on contract and NEED of position. Following that, how good they are at STs and how many of those STs do they participate in.
The other 60 players are competing for 25 spots.
TE - 2
RB - 2
WR - 3
OL - 3
DT/NT/DE - 3
DE/LB - 2
LB - 3
S - 2
CB - 1
21 specific positions open for competition, that will be filled.
Leaving four open spots for just about any position, based on any variety of factors.
Those who appear to have inside tracks to making the roster:
TE - Hoomanawanui (can fill FB role, plays on STs)
WR - Slater (ST Captain, emergency/depth WR)
O-line - Nick McDonald and Cannon (young but experienced Patriots players)
DT - Tommy Kelly (Sound steady veteran, that can fill in for Wilfork)
SS - Adrian Wilson (if he fits in and gets it, he is a lock)
Making the odds even worse for those other 55 players... who are fighting for 20 spots.