The New England Patriots’ roster cutdown day was mostly business as usual, with no moves reaching the same level as last year’s (when, for example, starting QB Cam Newton was released). That does not mean there were no surprises, though.
Among them was cutting veteran special teamer Justin Bethel, a move that has been named the Patriots’ most surprising by USA Today’s Jordy McElroy:
There’s no question the biggest surprise for the Patriots on Tuesday was the team cutting defensive back and core special-teamer Justin Bethel. The 32-year-old veteran was seemingly a roster lock until undrafted rookie free agent Brendan Schooler showed up and ruined the party. Schooler has hit the ground running as a future special teams ace for the Patriots, which was obviously bad news for Bethel. The move brought an end to a three-year tenure in New England for the former sixth-round draft pick. But don’t let the age fool you. The Patriots might have moved on, but Bethel can still help some team out there.
Bethel had been a core member of the Patriots’ kicking game operation ever since his arrival in 2019. However, the team is apparently willing to move in another direction.