By: Derek Havens
My colleague Ian Logue helps start you off each day with his daily links entry, so in an effort to help fellow Patriots fans get caught up at the end of each day on what’s gone on with this football team, I’ll be offering a daily entry at the end of each day to help keep up with any news you may have missed. You can also follow me on Twitter to learn when it’s available.
The Patriots wrapped-up another chaotic week in the NFL today, setting their sights for Sept. 12th’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins. After roster cuts, a multitude of transactions, and a little bit over a week before their first regular season game, there is no shortage of news. Here are some notes on the team and around the league on Sunday:
- The New England Patriots made several roster transactions on Saturday to trim their roster to the league mandated 53-man limit. The Pats released 15 players yesterday, placed three players on the reserve physically unable to perform list, one player on the reserve non-football injury List and one on injured reserve. For my thoughts and analysis on the transactions, click here.
- The Patriots released 15 players on Saturday. Six of them were not on the market for long as they were signed to new teams within 24 hours. When a team like the Patriots cut a player, the other 31 front offices take notice.
- The biggest news yesterday was the release of safety Brandon Meriweather. Even though I am not a fan of Meriweather, I am surprised the team decided to cut him. I would have been less surprised if they had not released veteran James Sanders on Monday. Meriweather did not stay jobless for long, however, he signed a contract with the Bears on Sunday morning.
- As expected, there was more roster shuffling after “final cuts” were made yesterday. Today, two players were signed and two were released. The Patriots signed veteran guard Brian Waters and longer snapper Danny Aiken, while releasing long snapper James Dearth and offensive lineman Steve Maneri. Expect more transactions before the Sept. 12th season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
- After several inquires around the league for a veteran guard, the Patriots finally made a signing. As I previously mentioned, the team signed Brian Waters to a contract on Sunday morning. The 11-year veteran will be a solid addition to the offensive line and will help fill the void left by Stephan Neal after he retired during the off-season. Waters will be making the transition from left to right, but I feel he will be able to make an impact throughout the season.
- Another name that was mentioned for the Patriots to add on the offensive line was center/guard Andre Gurode. The former Dallas Cowboys pro bowler would have made an interesting story line if he decided to sign here because of his history with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth notoriously stomped on Gurode’s face during a game in 2006. Irrelevant now, Gurode signed a one-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens Sunday morning.
- The safety position is definitely under the microscope after the Patriots released both Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders this week. Patriots nation has thrown out names such as Ahmad Black and the most popular veteran candidate, Darren Sharper. I feel, the way many of you do, that the team needs to make a move at the safety position. I do not feel comfortable with the current personnel and I feel there are upgrades available around the league.
- The Patriots had two rookie tight-ends on their roster early Saturday morning. Sunday afternoon, both of them are with AFC East rivals. Will Yeatman, who was reportedly set to join the team’s practice squad, was claimed by the Miami Dolphins. Lee Smith, a fifth-round draft selection in April, was claimed by the Buffalo Bills as well. This leaves the team with two tight-ends and a possible position of need. Perhaps veteran Alge Crumpler rejoins the team in the near future?
- After leading the New York Jets in sacks throughout the pre-season with 2.5, the team released Aaron Maybin on Sunday. This was a little surprising to me after Maybin seemed to have adapted well to Ryan’s defensive scheme. The Jets made the move to add second-year receiver Mardy Gilyard, who was released from the Rams, to their roster.
- As I was browsing Twitter today, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King posted an intriguing statistic that caught my eye. 2,880 men went to NFL camps this summer; 1,696 made rosters. Those numbers put a little perspective on how hard it is to make an NFL roster.
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