Today is the day that every team must reduce their roster to 80 players and we all know that Bill Belichick loves to take advantage of the quality players other teams release. While the Patriots have to squeeze down their roster as well, here are some players that might be worth a look:
Jonathan Stupar (TE) – Signed by the Patriots as an UDFA in 2008, Stupar couldn't make the roster and spent the last few seasons with the Bills and joined the Ravens this off-season. At 6-4, 254 lbs, Stupar makes great sense as a 3rd tight end and would compete with Will Yeatman and Lee Smith. He's a solid run blocker and can catch if necessary. This signing might be unnecessary if Yeatman and Smith have the coaches' thumbs-up, but Stupar would be another quality player who fits the team.
Andre Gurode (C) – He seems like an unlikely pick-up due to his big name, but Gurode was one of the best centers in the league last season and is exceptional at all facets of the game (unlike Koppen who really struggles in the pass blocking). That said, I don't believe the Patriots would go about replacing Koppen with an old player in Gurode. However, that doesn't mean that they can't find a spot for Gurode. He is a former All-American right guard who could definitely step up and help the weak right guard position for the next couple of seasons. The injury to Dan Connolly has set the squad back a couple weeks and even when he's healthy he doesn't inspire much confidence. Gurode could be a great improvement, as long as the price is right.
Deron Mayo (LB) – This one's all about the family. Much like how Belichick picked up Ray Ventrone and Ross Ventrone, Belichick could bring in Mayo and groom him to be a special teams player and stash him on the practice squad. This is less of a gem and more of a "player of note."
Zach Hurd (T) – Hurd was one of my favorite prospects for the draft. He has all the athleticism in the world in order to be a great offensive lineman. His biggest setback is that he struggles with the technique- and to me, that sounds like an ideal Scarneccia project. Hurd was first team Big East for two seasons at both left and right guard. He was a team captain, a three year starter, and he blocked for a 1k yard rusher each season. He seems like an ideal practice squad player and could add depth at guard and possibly tackle.
Keep your eyes out through the day for more released players!