The Patriots have trimmed their roster down to 53 and now must have 24 hours to make waiver claims before forming a practice squad.
The initial roster often undergoes major changes from start to finish, especially for the Patriots. But for now, here’s who New England has on its roster.
Quarterback (2): Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham
Running Back (5): Sony Michel, James White, Damien Harris, Rex Burkhead, Brandon Bolden
Wide Receiver (6): Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Matt Slater
PUP List: Cameron Meredith
Tight Ends / Full Backs (3): Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo; James Develin
Suspended: Ben Watson, Lance Kendricks
Offensive Line (8): Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney, Isaiah Wynn, Ted Karras, Marcus Cannon, Russell Bodine, Jermaine Eluemunor, Korey Cunningham
Injured: David Andrews, Hjalte Froholdt | NFI List: Yodny Cajuste
Defensive Line (9): Michael Bennett, Adam Butler, Lawrence Guy, John Simon, Danny Shelton, Byron Cowart, Chase Winovich, Deatrich Wise, Shilique Calhoun
Injured Reserve: Keionta Davis, Derek Rivers
Linebacker (5): Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts
Injured Reserve: Brandon King
Corner Back (5): Stephon Gilmore, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Joejuan Williams
Injured Reserve: D’Angelo Ross
Safety (6): Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Nate Ebner, Terrence Brooks, Obi Melifonwu
Injuries: Malik Gant
Special Teams (4): Jake Bailey, Stephen Gostkowski, Joe Cardona, Gunner Olszewski
The biggest shock of the day came when New England released five-time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas with the intent of resigning him to a team-friendly deal with a lower cap hit.
The Patriots also released veteran backup quarterback Brian Hoyer. That now means New England has put all of its trust in Jarrett Stidham to backup Brady and eventually develop into a starter.
Another shocker is the release of Braxton Berrios, who was an early favorite to make it onto the roster but a late-preseason injury doomed his chances.
After initially being informed of his release, Gunner Olszewski was brought back after New England traded Keion Crossen. Aside from returning punts, he can play slot receiver and corner, so a perfect, Troy Brown-esque player. The Patriots got a sixth-round pick for Crossen.
On the offensive line, three trades during the past week for Bodine, Cunningham, and Eluemunor were meaningful as all three made it onto the roster.
There were no shockers at tight end / full back or running back.
On defense, after parting ways with Duke Dawson via trade on Friday, the Patriots dealt Keion Crossen to the Texans on Saturday. He shined in the preseason finale and was widely expected to make the roster for his special teams’ abilities.
Shilique Calhoun made the team as the ninth edge rusher while Derek Rivers heads to injured reserve.
Obi Melifonwu was also included in the final roster as the sixth safety and will likely be used for special teams purposes.
Projected Practice Squad
The Patriots have to wait until tomorrow to see who goes unclaimed both from their roster and around the league. But factoring in only players who went through the preseason with the Patriots, there is still a fair amount of practice squad potential.
Here’s what we’ve got:
Dan Skipper, Ryan Davis, Damoun Patterson, Ken Webster, Scooby Wright, Nick Thurman, James Ferentz, A.J Howard, Stephen Anderson, Nick Brossette, Jakob Johnson.
Eleven players on a 10-man practice squad? Yes, given Jakob Johnson’s international exemption which basically means he cannot be activated.
Otherwise, it’s a pretty diverse group. Without a third quarterback, New England may opt to claim a QB off waivers but that could be something they ponder down the road. But Patterson, Skipper, and Wright certainly earned their stripes with impressive preseasons. Webster was a late-round pick and the Pats will likely want to get some value from him. Others like Anderson and Howard have been in the system.
Brossette is the only back cut, but the Patriots could probably find someone else to fill that spot on the practice squad.
There are certain players, like Braxton Berrios, unincluded on the above list because of his potential claim elsewhere factoring into consideration. But above all, that’s a strong group that will likely change dramatically over the next few months.