Patriots Undrafted Undersized Running Back a Surprise Cut: Report

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he New England Patriots continued to make their way towards the 53-man cutdown and there were a few surprises.

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New England trimmed down some of their depth at the running back position and cut J.J. Taylor. ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report the news.

The 24-year-old signed with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2020. In two NFL seasons, Taylor appeared in 11 games and tallied 147 rushing yards and four touchdowns per Pro Football Reference.

The clear top tier running backs in New England’s offense are Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson. Taylor had to compete for that third spot and even though Ty Montgomery got injured, the Patriots appear confident in the RB/WR they signed in the offseason. Montgomery’s versatility surely earned him favor with Bill Belichick.

Were There Any Other Surprising Cuts?

There were more surprising cuts made by New England. After being signed in the offseason and having an impressive preseason, Lil’Jordan Humphrey was cut by the Patriots. Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald was the first to report the news.

Humphrey was a star of the preseason. He tallied 13 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. Part of the reason that the move is surprising is that New England is short on wide receivers and tight ends. The Patriots cut Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene and also have Ty Montgomery and Tyquan Thornton dealing with injuries.

Humphrey said that he was willing to play tight end and talked about the possible positional change.

“Whatever they want me to do, I just do it,” he said. “I got some work [at tight end] during camp at it, just trying to get better at it and continue to grow.

“It’s fun,” he said of the potential new role. “Playing football is fun, so I love it.”

It will be interesting to see where Humphrey ends up as he showed that he has the talent to compete in the NFL with his performance in the preseason.

What About On Defense?

The Patriots also made some interesting moves on defense. One of the earlier cuts that New England made was axing cornerback Terrence Mitchell. ESPN’s Mike Reiss was the first to report the move.

After the Patriots released Malcolm Butler, it seemed like Mitchell had a chance to make the roster with New England lacking depth at the position. Mitchell, 30, is a veteran of the league playing in 83 games in his career and tallying eight interceptions per Pro Football Reference.

This means that Jalen Mills and Jonathan Jones will be relied on to be top corners while rookies Marcus Jones and Jack Jones have the chance to compete for playing time.

The Patriots also released linebacker Cameron McGrone. Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal was the first to report the move.

So per usual, the Patriots have made some surprising moves ahead of the start of the regular season as they trimmed their roster down to 53 players.



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