The New England Patriots will be quite busy on Tuesday. Not only will they kick off their joint practices with the Las Vegas Raiders, they also will have to trim their roster for a second time to get below the NFL’s 80-man limit.
The Patriots have already started that process over the weekend. After releasing defensive backs Devin Hafford and Jalen Elliott on Saturday, they parted ways with former third-round tight end Dalton Keene one day later. Ahead of the 4 p.m. ET deadline on Tuesday, New England therefore needs to move two more of its players.
There are several ways to get the job done, the most prominent of which is simply releasing some players near the bottom of the roster.
Looking at the preseason games against the New York Giants and Carolina Panthers these last two weeks, a few potential candidates can be identified — mostly those who have seen limited action despite their perceived status as bubble players. Linebackers DaMarcus Mitchell or Nate Wieland are among them, as are defensive tackle Jeremiah Pharms Jr. and kicker Tristan Vizcaino.
Of course, New England also could make other transactions to drop below the limit. Sending players to season-ending injured reserve would remove them from the active roster, for example. Additionally, they could make trades to move on players.
For what it is worth, starting right tackle Isaiah Wynn has been the subject of trade rumors recently.
While it remains to be seen what the team will do, it would not be a surprise if one or both of the players involved will not be present at practice on Tuesday. Moves will likely not be made official until later during the day, but the 11:45 a.m. ET/8:45 a.m. PT session might give us a clue what Bill Belichick and company might decide to do to clear those two roster spots in question.
The second cutdown day is one of three on the NFL’s calendar this month. The next and final one on Tuesday, Aug 30, will see teams further reduce their rosters from 80 to 53 players.
At that point, the Patriots will have all their preseason games and joint practices behind them. They will hold two sessions with the Raiders at their facility in Las Vegas on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the preseason finale at Allegiant Stadium scheduled for a 8:15 p.m. ET kickoff on Friday.