The New England Patriots parted ways with 10 players earlier today, but have to make more cuts to get under the NFL’s 53-man roster mandate. The latest two players to therefore get released are tight end Paul Quessenberry (via NESN’s Doug Kyed) and defensive tackle Nick Thurman (via the Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian). With the two no longer on the active team, the Patriots now have 65 players remaining for the time being.
TE Paul Quessenberry
The Patriots brought Quessenberry abord in late August after he had spent the last four years with the United States Marines. His story from undrafted free agent to the military to pro football is an impressive one, but his best chance of remaining in New England is via the practice squad: Quessenberry could develop his blocking skills there to offer depth behind fullback Jakob Johnson. He has to clear waivers first, but appears to be a realistic candidate to be brought back if he does.
Quessenberry, of course, has no NFL experience to speak of. That said, he does have some football on his résumé nonetheless even though it came at a different position than the tight end spot he will play in New England: between 2011 and 2014, Quessenberry appeared in a combined 38 contests during his tenure at the Naval Academy. Playing as a defensive end, he registered 3.5 sacks as well as one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and two pass deflections.
DT Nick Thurman
Despite having one year of practice squad experience under his belt, Thurman entered training camp with the same basic outlook he had last summer: he had to prove that he could be anything more than a camp body or developmental player. However, his release today showed that the team did not yet see him ready to find a role on the 53-man squad. He could return to the practice squad for a second straight year, however, in case he goes unclaimed through the waiver wire.
Thurman originally arrived in the NFL as a rookie free agent signing by the Houston Texans, but spent a year out of football after failing to find a role not just on the Texans but the San Antonio Commanders of the now-defunct AAF as well. 2019, meanwhile, saw him spend time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and eventually the Patriots: he joined the team in spring, and went on to spend the entire season in New England.