The New England Patriots currently have 88 players on their active roster. However, only 53 of them will be able to survive the cutdowns on September 1 and ultimately make the team. Over the course of the offseason, we take a look at the players fighting for those spots to find out who has the best chances of helping the Patriots recapture the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Today, the series continues with one of New England’s wide receivers
Name: Paul Turner
Position: Wide receiver
Jersey number: 86
Opening day age: 25
Size: 5’10, 195 lbs.
2017 review: After appearing in four games during his 2016 rookie season and catching nine passes for 126 yards, Paul Turner was unable to make the second-year jump in 2017: he injured his shoulder early during the Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp and was forced to miss all of the team’s preseason. As a result, the Eagles opted to release him with an injury settlement in early September. It would take Turner four months to find a new team.
After remaining unsigned throughout the 2017 season, the former undrafted free agent signed a one-year futures contract with the New Orleans Saints in January.
2018 preview: Turner failed to establish himself with the Saints and was let go again after mandatory minicamp. This time, it would “only” take him one month to find new work: in late July, the Patriots brought him on board. Joining a crowded wide receiver room at the time, Turner was projected as a long-shot to actually make New England’s 53-man roster. And even though the position has changed quite a bit since last month, Turner’s roster outlook has not.
The 25-year old currently appears to be at the bottom of the depth chart, having played only 10 offensive snaps during the Patriots’ first three preseason contests. Turner, who also played 13 snaps in the kicking game, failed to register any statistics or stand out in any way. The best case scenario for him therefore appears to be the following: after his inevitable release, he gets signed to New England’s or another team’s practice squad.
In order for that to happen, though, he will need to perform well during the preseason finale next week. Judging by his last three games, this is not guaranteed to happen.