The Patriots began trimming down their roster with some surprise cuts today, as they released Tommy Kelly, Will Smith, and linebacker James Anderson.
While Anderson and Smith have both been having fairly mediocre preseasons, Kelly has looked impressive and his release is something of a shock. Kelly's release likely bodes well for Joe Vellano and Jerel Worthy to stick around, and is probably good news regarding the injury status of Chris Jones and Sealver Siglia. Still, that Kelly is no longer on the team is likely a cut that nobody saw coming.
The question now, of course, is whether or not Kelly will be back at some point during the season. This may be a situation where the team had a handshake agreement in place and Kelly will be back in time for Week 1, but honestly I'm not so sure. His salary was already pretty low, and releasing him now seems more like a courtesy move on the teams' part to give him the chance to latch on to a team elsewhere. If the Patriots wanted him around, they likely would have waited until the next round of cuts before letting him go.
But honestly, who knows? Absolutely nothing Bill Belichick does over the next few weeks should surprise anyone.