In a little more than 25 hours, each NFL franchise has to be under the 53-man active regular season roster limit. Whether it is via cuts or trades, each team therefore has to get rid of up to 37 players currently under contract. The New England Patriots, currently at 90 signed men, have opted for the latter method to create one open spot.
As first reported by ESPN's Field Yates and Mike Reiss, the team has traded away cornerback Justin Coleman:
From @MikeReiss & me: the Patriots have traded CB Justin Coleman to the Seahawks for a late round draft choice, per league sources.
Coleman has been a depth defensive back since joining the Patriots in 2015 (coincidentally after a stint in Seattle). While he was solid during his rookie campaign, he failed to take another step in his second NFL season and appeared in only 10 games. New England still opted to keep the 24-year old in the fold after the Super Bowl and signed him to the highest exclusive rights tender sheet.
Coleman was solid during training camp and the preseason and appeared to be on his way to the 53-man roster, especially now that Cyrus Jones will be out with a torn ACL. However, the Patriots have had different plans and have shipped him to the NFC West earlier today - a move that has no big impact on New England's roster but certainly helps the chances of undrafted rookies Kenny Moore II, D.J. Killings and Will Likely.
The trio is fighting for what appears to be one spot behind top quartet Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe and Jonathan Jones.
UPDATE (5:34 p.m. ET): According to ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss, the Patriots will receive a 2018 seventh-round draft pick in compensation for Coleman:
Patriots get '18 7th-rounder from SEA (original PHL pick) for CB Justin Coleman. Replaces '18 7th-rounder they traded for LB Marquis Flowers
The Patriots will now have six draft picks in 2018.