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2020 NFL roster cuts tracker: Patriots news, rumors, releases, trades, instant analysis

Related: 80 thoughts on the Patriots’ 80-man roster with cutdown day looming

One of the NFL’s busiest weekends is upon us: by Saturday, 4 pm ET, every one of the league’s 32 franchises will have cut its roster from 80 down to 53 men. This means that hundreds of players are about to hit waivers and the open market over the next few hours. There will not only be plenty of releases, however, but also a lot of other transactions ranging from trades, to waiver wire pickups, to free agency signings.

To not get lost in all the craziness, make sure to bookmark and regularly visit our New England Patriots cutdown tracker: we will compile all the latest news, rumors, and instant analysis here, and also count down to how many more men will have to go in order for the team to bring its squad under the 53-man regular season threshold. All in all, the team will have to move 27 players — and there are multiple ways of doing that:

Release

Releasing players is the most common option on cutdown weekend to reduce the number of players under contract. A player’s deal is terminated and he either hits open market if he has more than four accrued seasons on his résumé, or the waiver wire if he is less experienced than that. Because of their playoff departure on wild card weekend in January, the Patriots have the 23rd spot on the waiver wire priority list.

Reserve list

To reduce the number of men under contract, teams can also place players on one of the various reserve lists. Injured reserve is the most common one: players that have suffered an injury and will be out for an extended period of time can get placed there. If they are moved to IR before 4 pm on Saturday, they will be out for the season; if moved there after Sunday 4 pm, they are eligible to be brought back via the return spots available to each club.

The Patriots already had one player on injured reserve before the start of cutdown weekend — wide receiver Quincy Adeboyejo — and one other appears to be a candidate to join him, at least temporarily: defensive tackle Beau Allen has yet to participate in a full-team practice this summer. He could therefore be moved to IR following Saturday’s cutdowns and possibly return at a later point.

Trade

New England has made plenty of trades around the roster cutdown deadline over the last few years. In 2017, two players were moved off the team, four others were acquired; in 2018, Jordan Richards was traded to the Atlanta Falcons; in 2019, the team again traded two players away while bringing three others on board. More swaps are likely.


Patriots releases/departures/etc.

WR Andre Baccellia: Waived

DT Michael Barnett: Waived/Injured

TE/LB Rashod Berry: Waived

LB Tashawn Bower: Waived

OL Ben Braden: Waived

CB Myles Bryant: Waived

TE Jake Burt: Waived

K Nick Folk: Released

C Tyler Gauthier: Waived

LB Terez Hall: Waived

LB De’Jon Harris: Waived

TE Paul Butler: Waived

CB Michael Jackson Sr: Waived

LB Cassh Maluia: Waived

RB Lamar Miller: Released

DT Bill Murray: Waived

QB Brian Lewerke: Waived

TE Paul Quessenberry: Waived

K Justin Rohrwasser: Waived

CB D’Angelo Ross: Waived

WR Devin Ross: Waived

WR Mohamed Sanu: Released

RB J.J. Taylor: Waived

WR Jeff Thomas: Waived

DT Nick Thurman: Waived

DT Xavier Williams: Released

WR Isaiah Zuber: Waived


Patriots acquisitions

None so far.


Patriots cut-down tracker

September 5

  • One of four rookie free agent wide receivers to get signed by the Patriots following the draft, Zuber remained one the roster the longest but still saw his time with the team come to an end today. His ability to offer depth on both offense and in the return game makes him an intriguing practice squad target. [Patriots roster: 53 players]
  • Outside linebacker Tashawn Bower missed some time early in training camp due to an apparent injury, and despite eventually returning to the practice fields and having some positive moments did not make the team. His experience could make him a depth option on the practice squad, though. [Patriots roster: 54 players]
  • Xavier Williams’ did bring plenty of experience to the table when the Patriots signed him on August 22. However, his comparatively late arrival did him no favors, as the sixth-year has now been released again. [Patriots roster: 55 players]
  • Running back J.J. Taylor had some promising moments during training camp and was even compared to ex-Patriot Dion Lewis by position coach Ivan Fears at one point. However, he was still unable to crack a deep running back depth chart and will now be exposed to the waiver wire. [Patriots roster: 56 players]
  • For a few minutes, Nick Folk appeared to be the winner of the kicking battle. However, the team decided to release the veteran as well — leaving the roster without a pure place kicker for the moment. [Patriots roster: 57 players]
  • After having played both tight end and linebacker at Ohio State, Rashod Berry saw plenty of time on the defensive side of the ball in Patriots training camp. His versatility and athleticism are intriguing, but not enough to help him make the 53-man roster just yet. [Patriots roster: 58 players]
  • The Patriots invented a fifth-round draft pick in Justin Rohrwasser earlier this year, but the rookie’s inconsistent training camp performance now has him on the outside looking in. His leg strength is intriguing, but was not enough to secure a spot on the team. [Patriots roster: 59 players]
  • Patriots fan, Massachusetts native, Boston College product — Jake Burt was living the dream after New England signed him as a rookie free agent after the draft. That dream is now over, at least temporarily: Burt has been released. He could return via the practice squad, though. [Patriots roster: 60 players]
  • The first real surprise of Patriots cutdown day comes in the form of rookie linebacker Cassh Maluia. He did show some upside as a downhill defender and in coverage, but apparently the team feels as if his roster spot is better invested elsewhere. [Patriots roster: 61 players]
  • Coming off a year spent on injured reserve, D’Angelo Ross did have some positive moments during training camp. Given the team’s depth at the cornerback position, however, he faced an uphill climb to make the 53-man roster. If he clears waivers, though, he would be a solid practice squad addition. [Patriots roster: 62 players]
  • De’Jon Harris joined the Patriots as an undrafted rookie free agent, and had some positive moments as an off-the-ball linebacker during training camp. A practice squad candidate, he would have to clear waivers to return. [Patriots roster: 63 players]
  • Myles Bryant was one of the most intriguing rookie free agents at Patriots camp this year. Despite a strong showing, the Washington product has now been released and will have to go through waivers to return via the practice squad. [Patriots roster: 64 players]
  • Joining the Patriots after a four-year commitment to the United States Marine Corps, Paul Quessenberry was signed by the team in late August. He spent some time working at fullback, and despite not making the 53-man roster is a candidate to be brought back through the practice squad. [Patriots roster: 65 players]
  • Defensive tackle Nick Thurman spent the 2019 season on the Patriots’ practice squad but failed to make the necessary strides during his second training camp with the club to be kept on the active roster. He now has to clear waivers to return to the developmental team. [Patriots roster: 66 players]
  • Wide receiver Devin Ross had a solid training camp and made some splash plays early on. After his hot start, however, the former practice squad member cooled off a bit. New England could look to bring him back via the developmental roster once again, though. [Patriots roster: 67 players]
  • Defensive tackle Bill Murray may have had the best name on New England’s roster, but it did not survive him from getting the axe today. The undrafted rookie does look like a solid practice squad candidate to bolster the depth behind Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler and company. [Patriots roster: 68 players]
  • Linebacker Terez Hall spent his entire rookie season on the Patriots’ practice squad, but his experience with the defense and some solid plays in training camp were not enough to make the team. He could be brought back via the developmental team yet again, however. [Patriots roster: 69 players]
  • Running back Lamar Miller was signed by the Patriots in early August but was immediately placed on the physically unable to perform list. He was activated three weeks later but failed to make enough strides to be kept on the initial roster. [Patriots roster: 70 players]
  • Offensive lineman Tyler Gauthier is in a familiar spot: after already being let go by the Patriots as a rookie last year, he also was unable to make the cut in 2020. Gauthier, who was signed in mid-August was fighting for a depth spot along the interior offensive line. [Patriots roster: 71 players]
  • Wide receiver Andre Baccellia was brought in for a free agency workout in late August and later signed to a deal. However, he apparently did not do enough to make the team. An undrafted rookie, Baccellia is a candidate for the practice squad. [Patriots roster: 72 players]
  • Tight end Paul Butler was signed by the Patriots during training camp. While he did have some positive moments, he was unable to carve out a spot on the team’s roster behind top-two Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene. [Patriots roster: 73 players]
  • Quarterback Brian Lewerke joined New England as a rookie free agent earlier this year. He was originally released during cut-downs from 90 to 80 players, only to be brought back as a camp arm. [Patriots roster: 74 players]
  • Offensive lineman Ben Braden was brought aboard relatively late in the process, and was a long shot to make the roster ever since his arrival in New England. His release by the Patriots does not come as a surprise. [Patriots roster: 75 players]
  • Wide receiver Jeff Thomas becomes the first player to be let go by the Patriots on cutdown day. The undrafted rookie is a prime candidate to be brought back via the practice squad, if he clears waivers. [Patriots roster: 76 players]

September 4

  • After going unclaimed on waivers, Michael Barnett has indeed reverted to the Patriots’ injured reserve list. His season is now over.

September 3

  • The Patriots parted ways with cornerback Michael Jackson and defensive tackle Michael Barnett. Both men were brought on board relatively late in the process, therefore facing an uphill climb to make the team to begin with. Jackson’s release means that the team will likely not have to send a conditional seventh-round pick to the Detroit Lions. Barnett’s, meanwhile, was done with an injury designation: he will revert to injured reserve if unclaimed on waivers. [Patriots roster: 77 players]
  • After news already broke one day before, the New England officially released wide receiver Mohamed Sanu on Thursday not even one year after using a second-round draft pick to trade for him. Sanu had a comparatively quiet training camp relative to his $6.5 million salary cap hit. [Patriots roster: 79 players]