Post cutdown analysis
Posted on August 31, 2008
Filed Under Uncategorized
Boy, hope you were hitting refresh over and over again on your computer this afternoon. If you stopped for lunch or to check the score of the Sox game, you missed a ton of action:
- First, it was revealed that the Patriots cut loose Chad Jackson. The timing was odd — if they were going to cut him, why didn’t they do it yesterday — but people have told me that there was a possible trade in the works that fell through. (My sources also seemed to indicate that Jackson could be bound for Baltimore.) Jackson had an up and down career in New England, showing terrific potential at times, but struggled to come back from hamstring and knee injuries. As an potential postscript, I remembered an interview I did with him during training camp, where I asked him if he took anything from his time on the sidelines. Did it teach you anything? “Yeah,” he said with a rueful smile. “Don’t get hurt.” Jackson’s release would appear to be good news for C.J. Jones, a journeyman wide receiver (and, for what it’s worth, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet), who will likely see the bulk of the action that would have gone to Jackson. However, a quick look at the numbers reveals that Jones’ status may not be all that secure: while serving his one-game suspension, Kevin Faulk does not count against the 53-man roster. When Faulk returns, you figure that Jones is on a short list of players that might ultimately be released.
- Then, when the Patriots announced their practice squad maneuvers, they added the fact that John Lynch had been cut. On the surface, this appears to be a mutual decision: Lynch had clearly been working to get up to speed in the New England defense, even telling coaches he wanted more playing time in the preseason finale against the Giants. (He was on the field deep into the game, an extraordinary sight when you consider that he’s a likely Hall of Famer, and was playing against guys who were fighting for jobs.) However, there were times when he appeared to be a step slow — he swung and missed on a pair of tackles early against New York, including one on a fourth down play and one on a New York touchdown. Belichick certainly appeared to leave the door open for a possible return in some form or fashion (Belichick called him an “all-time great safety [and] one of the league’s classiest professionals.” Belichick added, “As has been the case in other situations, I would not rule out anything down the road,” but the move today could very well signal the end of Lynch’s amazing career.
- Going forward, with the open roster spots as well as depth questions at some positions, I would be shocked if they did not make at least one more sizable transaction between now and Opening Day. Whether this means a Ty Law signing or a shift at the backup quarterback position (as of this writing, there were still some quality backups on the waiver wire), you should count on New England making another move between now and Sept. 7.