I too think Rodgers is chosen over C Brown.
But I think you guys don't consider the Shadow roster fully. What is it? What do you need to be and STAY (!) a candidate?
I think most of all a willingness to try for a ring. Secondly willingness to bypass other offers, or to not have any other offers, but still be useful to the Patriots. How can that be? A player useful to the the Sb contender but not useful to a n Oakland? If you are deemed "over the hill" and done; or you play a position that needs some acclimation before you can be useful. Having played for or trained with a Team makes that much more possible, to be immediately useful.
I think the typical Shadow Roster guy is an aged ex-starter veteran, who is trying to get a last season, and or ring in his last season. Either that of a ping-pong ball younger guy who has bounced off and on the roster several times, like a Hank Poteat. But these guys are more likely to be called "street free agents" than true Shadow roster candidates, unless they have TRAINED with you as well.
This year there are an inordinate number of Shadow roster candidates that have played with or trained with the Patriots, of the ex-veteran starter type guys, who could give you a game or three, or more likely a few plays per game, of good quality.
Let look at them position by position:
QB Vinny Testaverde
RB Corey Dillon, Patrick Pass
TE (but David Thomas on PUP; Kyle Brady if he is weeks away and cut)
OL Gene Mruczkowski ( Or Hochstein if weeks away and cut)
WR Troy Brown and CJ if off PUP eventually
DL Rashad Moore if he is cut; Kenny Brown
LB Chad Brown if he is cut
CB Samuels if he holds out or Tory James if he is cut
S Hawkins and whoever is cut
ST Hawkins, or Izzo if he is cut, or another DB cut.
P Josh Miller
K Street FA
The Patriots may have arranged it so that they have a Shadow roster candidate at EVERY position, save kicker. The Pats have arranged so that there is a valid, TRAINED, and useful veteran most likely available to them, in the even of need. This is above and beyond the usual PS suspects, and street Free Agents for this year's Super Bowl push. The only position not potentially covered is Kicker, and there are always a few free agents available there. "No holes anywhere, anytime" is Bill Belichick's philosophy, and he and Scott are working it to perfection, much more so than ever before, IMHO.
And we haven't considered the PUP list thoroughly, either. Welcome to the benefits of the 53; plus 8 PS; plus 11 shadow roster; Plus 5 PUP roster.
That adds up to 77 man roster. It's almost unafair and yet valid buy the rulesand still $8 million under the cap. How can others compete with a roster innovation of that "depth"?
This insight should help illuminate some decisions on final cut downs for you. E.g. Vinny Testaverde, Chad Brown, Kyle Brady, and Larry Izzo might not be all that surprising cuts, if you plan on having them back in a few weeks...