Just two days ago, the Patriots released preseason standout WR Chris Harper. His roster spot has since been filled by veteran special teamer and backup linebacker Dekoda Watson. With Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola ahead of him on the depth chart, there wasn't any room for Harper to receive playing time. Harper played 12 snaps in the opening game against the Steelers, running 7 pass routes. Harper was not targeted any of the 7 routes he ran. With teams making roster cuts for younger players to get vested veterans on their 53-man roster without having to guarantee their entire salary, Harper was able to clear waivers. Teams will be able to sign Harper from the practice squad, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
The Patriots traded for Keshawn Martin yesterday, to give Edelman and Amendola a break on Special Teams as well as add another inside/outside receiver to create certain match-ups. For the Week 2 game against the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots have Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Keshawn Martin, and Aaron Dobson at the top of the depth chart along with Kenbrell Thompkins on the practice squad in case they need him on Sunday. If the Patriots make a move to promote Thompkins to the 53-man roster, the move will likely occur on Saturday. I think Harper has the potential to be a #3/4 receiver in the Patriots offense in the future, but for now he will develop his game behind the scenes.