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Patriots release 2 more players ahead of roster cuts

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The Patriots are trimming their roster a week earlier than necessary.

One day after releasing EDGE Kony Ealy, who was subsequently claimed by the New York Jets, the New England Patriots have released two more players that weren’t going to make the final roster.

TE Matt Lengel, who signed to the Patriots practice squad in November of 2016 and won a Super Bowl ring, was waived/injured as he fell behind James O’Shaughnessy and Jacob Hollister, and even Sam Cotton, in the tight end camp battle. If he clears waivers, then Lengel should revert to the Patriots injured reserve. The two teams could reach an injury settlement if Lengel returns to health in reasonable time.

EDGE Caleb Kidder was an undrafted rookie out of Montana. He rotated with the Patriots back-up edge defenders, but he was behind fellow rookies Deatrich Wise and Harvey Langi on the depth chart.

Lengel’s and Kidder’s early release suggests that the Patriots might not be focused on bringing either back to the practice squad and both should have an opportunity to latch on to another team before the end of the preseason.

The Patriots will instead focus on sneaking one or more of O’Shaughnessy, Hollister, and Cotton to the practice squad (and we can add Glenn Gronkowski to that list, too), while players like Geneo Grissom and Trevor Bates are more likely practice squad options. Look for all of these listed players to play the majority of the final preseason game against the New York Giants.

New England now has 87 players on their roster and they must get down to 53 by 4:00 PM on September 2nd. WR Julian Edelman and EDGE Derek Rivers are expected to be placed on the injured reserve, too, bringing the Patriots down to 85 players. There are 32 more roster moves for the Patriots to make by the end of next week.