It’s final cutdown day here in New England as the team gets set to finalize their roster, and we’ll find out who will be staying – and who will be leaving the team – later this afternoon.

Until then, here are this morning’s top stories:

Glen Farley of the Taunton Daily Gazette writes that the team began wielding the ax yesterday, releasing eight players including local favoriteand wide receiver Buddy Farnham, who even played a little defense and had an interception in the first game against Jacksonville.  Bill Belichick said yesterday that despite how long he’s been coaching, this never gets any easier.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” the Patriots head coach said during a conference call with the media Friday afternoon. “It’s always a group of new people and you’re affecting their lives, their families and their careers. You try to do what’s best for the team, but it is tough.”

Ian Rapoport has an entry this morning on the topic, and writes that for anyone wondering, Belichick is indeed the guy who tells each player they’re being let go.

Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe writes that this part of the job doesn’t get Belichick fired up, especially considering he experienced what it was like in the early days of being an assistant with the Baltimore Colts when he was known back then as “Billy Bad News’’.

Rich Garven of the Worcester Telegram gives his final thoughts on who stays and who goes, and goes through every position and breaks down why he feels that way.

I posted an entry late yesterday afternoon with a look at some of the reasons why runningback Richard Medlin was likely among some of the first names let go after a rough outing Thursday night against the Giants.

Monique Walker of the Boston Globe has an article this morning on linebacker Brandon Spikes, who was signing autographs at a Reebok event yesterday, told Walker that it was frustrating being sidelined with an ankle injury and not being able to practice with the rest of his teammates.  Spikes only recently returned to practice, and he’s excited about getting back to work.

“It just felt good getting out there running around and being around the guys,’’ Spikes said yesterday. “I know a lot of guys come in and they’re excited about practice and excited to watch film and I look at the film and I’m not on there. So it’s kind of depressing but I think I took the steps I needed in order to be ready.’’

Mike Reiss also has a good article on Spikes, who gave his thoughts about Twitter and social media yesterday (#Poowwwww).

Reiss has another article where Spikes said he expects to be ready by the start of the season.

Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe has Seven Points On the Team, including the fact he feels tight end Aaron Hernandez is primed for a breakout season this year.

Jeff Howe of NESN.com has an article on Nate Solder, who told him that he enjoyed having an opportunity to work at several different positions Thursday night. Solder played both right and left tackle, and also guard against New York.

Solder told Ian Rapoport that it was like “bizarro world” Thursday night when he was playing on the other side of the line.

Tom Curran of CSNNE.com writes that offensive lineman Andre Gurode – yes, the same guy who’s head Albert Haynesworth stomped on back in 2006 – is scheduled to visit the team.

Chris Forsberg of ESPN has an article on Brandon Tate, and wonders if he’ll be let go today.  His article includes some thoughts from Belichick, who when asked who will handle the kickoff return duties this season, Tate’s name didn’t come up.

I kept an eye on Tate during Thursday night’s loss to the Giants, and here’s a link to some observations I posted if you haven’t already seen it.

Mark Farinella of the Attleboro Sun Chronicle has an article on receiver Tiquan Underwood, and he takes a look at what ended up being a mixed review for the newly acquired player during his first appearance against the Giants.

Mike Reiss has an article this morning looking back at the preseason, and he goes through a list of things that the exhibition season taught us about this football team.

Paul Kenyon of the Providence Journal has an article on Josh Barrett and Brandon Meriweather, and wonders what today’s cuts will mean for each player.

And finally, there weren’t too many articles out of Miami to warrant an additional entry, but here’s one from the Miami Herald where they write the Dolphins can eliminate a lot of questions by beating New England a week from Monday when the two battle down in Florida to kickoff the season.

That’s it for now.  We’ll obviously have updates later this afternoon once news breaks on the final cutdowns – but be sure to keep an eye on the front page of PatsFans.com where we have a newswire from all the top local outlets that updates automatically every few minutes, so you should find everything you need right there.