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New England Patriots Links 5/15/12 - Take it to the Limit: Who Gets 90th Roster Spot?

Kevin Faulk is one of several unsigned Patriots in the running for a roster spot.
Kevin Faulk is one of several unsigned Patriots in the running for a roster spot.

Field Yates reports the Patriots currently have 89 players on the active roster and speculates on who will get the final spot.

Kevin Faulk

Faulk has spent the entirety of his 13-year career in New England, and has previously suggested that he would only return to the field if it were with the Patriots. The alternative, retirement, seems very much in play as well. ...

Faulk was used in a limited role last season, and was not active for Super Bowl XLVI. After countless important carries, catches and blitz pick-ups, he’d have plenty to be proud of should he call for retirement soon.

Andre Carter

Carter had already accrued 10 sacks by the time he went down with a season-ending quadriceps injury in the Patriots' 14th regular season game of 2011, and established himself as the latest low-profile, high-reward veteran free agent pickup by Bill Belichick. ...

Without knowing enough about his timetable, it’s difficult to judge his immediate future, but it would make sense if the team invited Carter to rejoin the franchise upon receiving a clean bill of health. That could be within the next month, during training camp, or even beyond. For now, it’s a wait-and-see situation.

Shaun Ellis

Ellis, like Carter, played under a one-year deal in 2011. Unlike Carter, however, Ellis didn’t come cheap, and he wasn’t as productive as many expected out of him, given his contract and playing history.

... Ellis has flashed versatility in the past. Should he remain available entering training camp, don’t discount the possibility of a return -- at the right price.

Nate Jones

It spoke volumes that Jones played meaningful snaps for the Patriots just days after signing with the team in late November of 2011. He proved to be a sufficient late-season addition, totaling 20 tackles in eight appearances with the Patriots.

Should the Patriots experience similar injury issues at any point this season, Jones seems like the kind of guy New England would turn to once again in a pinch ...

James Ihedigbo

Ihedigbo had by far his best season as a pro for New England last year, notching 69 tackles in a prominent safety role. The secondary struggled as a whole, however, and as mentioned already, the team has worked to inject new personnel into the lineup. ...

He has what it takes to make an NFL roster, and should find work before the beginning of the season. The question is, will a numbers crunch and possible desire to go in a different direction preclude a return to New England for Ihedigbo?