The New England Patriots final roster cutdowns are coming on Saturday meaning 37 players will be let go in the next 48 hours.
There’s undoubtedly a lot of tough decisions that need to be made but the final preseason contest provided a little more clarity for New England. There were some injured players who remain out and others who made their return to the sideline.
Follow the Heavy on Patriots Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Now, it’s cutting time. Here’s where the roster stands heading into the final weekend.
LAST PROJECTION: Patriots Roster Projection 4.0: Ryan Izzo, Ufomba Kamalu In
Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer
It looked like it may have been possible Hoyer would be let loose, but keeping him provides a security blanket to allow the rookie Stidham to develop under less of a microscope. Hoyer didn’t see much action in either of the final two preseason games and his release could open up a spot for an extra player on defense.
Running Backs (5)
Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden
Not much of a surprise here, all five will see action on offense or special teams.
Out: Nick Brossette is a good runner, he could land somewhere and that might even be with the practice squad.
Wide Receivers (7)
Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Matthew Slater
PUP List: Cameron Meredith
Slater counts more as a special teams player, but the first six receivers are all incredible weapons for Brady to have and could potentially be his most reliable targets ever.
Out: Braxton Berrios is a really tough cut but there’s just not enough room. Gunner Olszewski is a great story as well and is a candidate for the practice squad. Other cuts include Ryan Davis and Damoun Patterson, both long shots to make the roster.
Tight Ends & Full Backs (3)
Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo; James Develin
Suspended: Ben Watson, Lance Kendricks
LaCosse looks like he’ll be ready to go in Week 1 against Pittsburgh while Ryan Izzo has done enough to prove he deserves a roster spot for now. Develin is a stalwart at full-back and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Out: Stephen Anderson, Eric Saubert, and Andrew Beck look to be edged out, although Beck could head to the practice squad. Joining him there might be Jakob Johnson, the international pool player who would serve as an extra man on that squad.
Offensive Line (8)
Shaq Mason, Joe Thuney, Isaiah Wynn, Marcus Cannon. Ted Karras, Jermaine Eluemunor, Korey Cunningham, James Ferentz
NFI List: Yodny Cajuste | Injuries: Hjalte Froholdt, David Andrews
Ferentz sneaks onto the roster as an extra center with Andrews out for an indefinite period of time. Froholdt injured himself in the final preseason game and could see time on IR if it’s serious. The two newest signings, Eluemunor and Cunningham, are also locked into a roster spot but Cunningham could hit the road if Cajuste comes back midseason.
Out: Dan Skipper becomes the odd-man-out as his production declined throughout the preseason. Fellow tackles Cedrick Lang, Tyree St. Louis, and Martez Ivey are likely cuts as well while Cole Croston could still vie for a potential spot on the roster. Tyler Gauthier is the real threat for Ferentz as the backup center and is the competition between the two is pretty close.
Defensive Line (8)
Michael Bennett, Adam Butler, Lawrence Guy, John Simon, Byron Cowart, Danny Shelton, Chase Winovich, Deatrich Wise
Injured Reserve: Keionta Davis | Injuries: Derek Rivers, Shilique Calhoun
It was a bit of a red flag to see Wise and Cowart playing in the final preseason game. But Wise provided great pressure on the edge and recorded a sack to likely preserve his spot on the roster. Cowart has had a good enough preseason to do so as well but he could end up being a game-day inactive much of the year. Rivers and Calhoun have been recovering from injuries so their status remains questionable.
Out: Ufomba Kamalu had a slight chance to make the roster but that appears to have faded, especially after being banged up against the Giants. David Parry as well, though he still might land somewhere this season. Trent Harris and Nick Thurman are also out.
Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts
Injured Reserve: Brandon King
This position looks pretty set and unfortunately, it’s just too deep for another player to crack the roster.
Out: Calvin Munson was the signal-caller against the Giants and would be the likely substitute should New England make room for a sixth linebacker. Other guys out include Scooby Wright, Christian Sam, and Terez Hall.
Corner Back (6)
Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, Jonathan Jones, J.C. Jackson, Joejuan Williams, Keion Crossen
Injured Reserve: D’Angelo Ross
Williams saw reps at safety against the Giants while Crossen, who was burned at times, made a few nice plays including an interception. The other four are virtual locks including Jackson who seemingly has his spot locked up.
Out: Duke Dawson just could not do enough to earn his way onto the roster and was subsequently traded prior to the cutdown period. Ken Webster will also be cut.
Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Terrence Brooks, Nate Ebner
Injuries: Malik Gant
All five didn’t see time against the Giants, likely signaling the position is already decided. Ebner’s spot becomes more important now that King is out for the year.
Out: A.J Howard and Obi Melifonwu are edged out after a preseason in which all three failed to make a significant impact. Melifonwu’s omission is disappointing for a once highly-touted college prospect.
Special Teams (3)
Stephen Gostkowski, Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona
Holding issues seem to be worked out and Gostkowski nailing a 51-yard field goal against the Giants eases some of the concern. But the Patriots could keep an eye on the kicker market should Mason Crosby or Graham Gano become available after roster cutdowns.