The Patriots have announced their corresponding roster moves to elevate cornerback Brandon Browner to the active roster, signaling his return from suspension. They have also activated receiver Brian Tyms.
To make space for Browner and Tyms, the Patriots have released defensive tackle Joe Vellano and placed Michael Buchanan on the injured reserve.
Vellano was thrust into the spotlight last season as a nose tackle due to the loss of Vince Wilfork. Vellano played out of his depth, but compted the whole season. He was brought back, but with Wilfork healthy, and with Casey Walker playing well and Sealver Siliga on the horizon, Vellano's ability just couldn't keep up with the talent on the roster. It's possible he will end up on the Patriots practice squad, but he will have to clear waivers.
Michael Buchanan is an important special teams player, but he's been nursing an injury all season.
Browner should add a level of physicality to the Patriots secondary. The New England defense showed signs of a more press coverage defense against the Bengals, which is likely the best use of Darrelle Revis. Browner should be able to play to a similar degree of success, and gives the Patriots another quality press corner alongside Alfonzo Dennard.
Tyms was a marvel during the preseason, although he never saw much time with Tom Brady. This move comes as a slight surprise, but it shows that the team views his potential athleticism as a greater value than that of Kenbrell Thompkins. Additionally, the Patriots had been grooming Tyms with some special teams value during the off-season, which means he'll hopefully have an impact.
Receiver Kenbrell Thompkins was claimed by the Oakland Raiders.