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Patriots reduce roster to 80 ahead of training camp, waive seven undrafted rookies

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Quarterbacks J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke were among those waived Sunday.

Louisiana Tech v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are down to the 80-man threshold ahead of training camp.

As first reported by Jim McBride of the Boston Globe, New England waived seven undrafted rookies on Sunday.

Those rookies include quarterbacks J’Mar Smith and Brian Lewerke, wide receivers Isaiah Zuber, Sean Riley and Will Hastings, defensive tackle Courtney Wallace and linebacker Kyahva Tezino.

In addition, returning safeties Malik Gant and Adarius Pickett have also been let go a day after the Patriots announced the release of reserve-futures cornerback Lenzy Pipkins. Gant spent 2019 on injured reserve after arriving out of Marshall, while Pickett finished out the campaign on the practice squad after stints with the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers.

The Patriots could have elected to begin camp with a roster of 90 if operating under a split-squad setup. But the NFL’s deadline for clubs to trim to 80 players is Aug. 16, before full-padded practices begin in a summer that goes forth without preseason games amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Eight members of New England’s 2020 undrafted class have made the initial phase of cuts. That group features running back J.J. Taylor, wideout Jeff Thomas, tight ends Rashod Berry and Jake Burt, defensive linemen Bill Murray and Nick Coe, linebacker De’Jon Harris and defensive back Myles Bryant.

A rookie free agent has resided on the Patriots’ active roster for 16 consecutive regular-season openers.