By tomorrow 4:00 p.m. ET, all NFL teams need to have cut their rosters to 75 players. With the cutdown line looming, the New England Patriots began trimming their roster today and announced releasing five players:
WR Josh Boyce
WR Jonathan Krause
TE Jimmay Mundine
DT Joe Vellano
LB Dekoda Watson
The 24-year old Boyce and the 23-year old Krause were long-shots to make the team. The Patriots had their fair share of injuries at the wide receiver position with starter Brandon LaFell still on the Physically Unable to Perform List and fellow receivers Julian Edelman and Aaron Dobson both missing time due to injury but neither Boyce nor Krause were able to take advantage of the opportunity and now have to live with the consequences.
According to Ben Volin, both receivers were waived with an injury designation and will revert to the Patriots' injured reserve list if not claimed by another team.
Mundine, who was signed by New England after going undrafted this year, was also facing an uphill battle to win a spot on the team's roster. Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler are locks to make the team and Mundine apparently was unable to overtake veterans Michael Hoomanawanui and newcomers Michael Williams and Asante Cleveland.
26-year old Joe Vellano, just like Boyce, was with the team since 2013, when he went undrafted out of Maryland. The defensive tackle spent time on both the active roster and the practice squad while in New England but was unable to really establish himself as a player worth keeping around due to his physical limitations.
Both Mundine and Vellano are eligible to return to the Patriots via the practice squad.
Watson, the fifth player released today, is not. The five-year veteran, who was signed by New England as a free agent in May, was another long-shot to make the 53-man roster as he saw only limited action during preseason and did not suit up for the Patriots' game in Carolina last Friday.
With the moves, the Patriots now have 79 players on their roster and need to make four more transactions until tomorrow afternoon.