Well, this is certainly one of the more bizarre stories you'll hear out of the New England Patriots training camp this year.
Free safety Brock Vereen, who signed with the Patriots last fall and ended up on their practice squad, was a guy a lot of Pats fans were probably hoping would make the team because he's former Patriots running back (and Super Bowl champion) Shane Vereen's brother. Here's what Brock has been up to this week:
Monday, August 15th - Brock Vereen retires, according to Jeff Howe:
Brock Vereen has retired. Wow. Had a good camp.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 15, 2016
Tuesday, August 16th - Almost exactly 24 hours later, Vereen got reinstated from the retirement list, but then the Patriots cut him.
Here's one I don't think I've seen before: Brock Vereen has been reinstated from the retirement list after 24 hours, but the Pats cut him.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) August 16, 2016
This is especially odd because teams don't have to cut down their rosters to 75 players until August 30th, which is more than two weeks away. Most of the time, a team would (presumably) want to see how someone does in camp and the preseason before giving them the sack.
Here's what the Patriots had to say about the roster move, from their official press release:
"The New England Patriots announced today that they have released DB Brock Vereen.
Vereen, 23, was signed by the Patriots to the practice squad on Nov. 18, 2015. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder, originally entered the NFL as a fourth-round (131st overall) draft choice by the Chicago Bears in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Minnesota. He played in all 16 games with four starts for the Bears in his rookie season and totaled 38 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. Vereen appeared in three games as a reserve for Chicago last season before being released on Sept. 29. Vereen joined the Minnesota practice squad on Oct. 1 and was released Nov. 13."
Something's up here. The Patriots seemingly had no reason to cut Brock, and then they did anyway.
Maybe the team was irked that Vereen retired and then changed his mind so quickly, and it's as simple as that. With the Patriots being loaded at the safety position, between Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards, and Nate Ebner, they don't really need to keep one that they don't think they'll really need.
But as noted previously, teams don't have to cut anyone until the end of this month. Vereen retiring at 23 years old was odd enough, but changing his mind the next day and immediately getting cut makes you wonder if there's another reason the team got rid of him so quickly.
This will definitely be worth watching to see if more details come out later. Not to speculate too much, but any time the Patriots make a roster move like this that looks weird on paper, there's almost always a reason that comes out eventually.