The New England Patriots have announced a flurry of roster moves this morning, which include the signing of free agent tight end Bo Scaife and the release of three players: defensive end/outside linebacker Markell Carter, offensive lineman Jon Opperud, and tight end Nick Melillo.
Melillo was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky on May 29th. He was originally picked up to provide some depth during the offseason with injuries to tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Daniel Fells, both recovering from offseason surgery, making the Patriots thin at the position. His release, and the signing of Bo Scaife are directly related, as Scaife provides a better veteran presence, and a lot of NFL experience.
Opperud, like Melillo, was originally signed by the Seattle Seahawks as an undrafted free agent on April 29th. He was released by the team a little over two weeks later on May 15th. He was then signed by the Patriots on May 18th. The Montana product, who played both left tackle and guard during his collegiate career, was a long-shot to make the roster.
The two biggest moves announced by the Patriots were the release of defensive end/ outside linebacker Markell Carter, and the signing of tight end Bo Scaife. We'll have further analysis on these two moves soon.
In total, these moves bring the Patriots down to 88 total players on the roster, with the offseason maximum being 90. I'd expect the Patriots to fill those two remaining spots relatively soon, perhaps with one of their 2011 roster members. Names that immediately come to mind are James Ihedigbo, Kevin Faulk, and Andre Carter.