Patriots Release Rookie Ranked as Team’s Worst Player


The New England Patriots made a roster move on Monday to trim their player total to 85. They released rookie long-snapper, Ross Reiter. This wasn’t a major surprise considering Joe Cardona, the team’s long-time long-snapper, was healthy and still on the roster.

Reiter securing a roster spot was unlikely from the beginning. Based partially on Reiter’s position and his lack of experience, he had been ranked as the Patriots’ worst player earlier this offseason.

Reiter played his college football at Colorado State. At 6-foot, 235 pounds, long-snapping duties are likely the extent of responsibilities he could hope to have in the NFL. We’ll have to see if he finds his way onto another roster before the start of training camp.

Difficult Decisions Are Ahead For the Patriots

Releasing Reiter was, in some ways, a no-brainer for the Patriots. He doesn’t play a highly important position, and the team already had a veteran option. Some of the other roster decisions coming over the next few months won’t be as cut and dry.

The Patriots currently have a wealth of running backs on their roster.

  • Damien Harris
  • Rhamondre Stevenson
  • Pierre Strong Jr.
  • James White
  • Kevin Harris
  • J.J. Taylor

There is almost no way New England will keep six running backs on their roster heading into training camp, and it would be even stranger to see the Patriots have so many at the position to start the season.

As many as two could be released. If pressed to identify the guys the Patriots are most likely to cut from this list, it would be White and Taylor. White is still battling his way back from a serious hip injury he suffered last season.

Even once he is healthy, White is 30 years old. He has proven himself to be effective before the injury, but there could be legitimate concern about how well he can bounce back. Taylor is heading into his third season in the NFL.

The 5-foot-6-inch running back has been trying to carve himself a role with the Patriots since he was signed as an undrafted rookie in 2020. Over two seasons, Taylor has played in just 11 games, rushing for 147 yards and 2 TDs on 42 carries. Taylor has also caught 5 passes for 12 yards.

Overall, there has been very little production from Taylor that makes a compelling case for keeping him on the roster. Harris and Strong are both promising young running backs coming off excellent college careers at South Carolina and South Dakota St., respectively. Unless Harris and/or Stevenson get hurt, New England probably won’t need anyone behind the rookie backs.

Releasing White will be tough as he has meant so much to the Patriots’ locker room over the past five-plus seasons. However, it may be time to make a business decision.

Patriots Notes and Quotes

On a recent episode of the I Am Athlete podcast, former Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel made a strong case in favor of Tom Brady being the most important piece of New England’s dynasty over 20 years.

Samuel has downplayed Bill Belichick’s impact on the Patriots’ winning ways before, but there is something more eye-opening about how he speaks in this segment. Also, former Philadelphia Eagles great LeSean McCoy shares a very similar opinion as he refers to Brady as the greatest football player he’s ever seen. If you haven’t watched any clips from the I Am Athlete podcast, this one is especially interesting.

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