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Patriots Cuts Included a Few Surprises on Saturday

Ian Logue
Ian Logue on Twitter
5 years ago at 11:22 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

Patriots Cuts Included a Few Surprises on SaturdayGreg M. Cooper - USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots got down to the 53-man roster limit on Saturday, but there were certainly some names let go who were surprising to see listed.

Unfortunately with so many needs and only so many spots, some were simply victims of a numbers game that didn’t quite go their way, which tends to be a common theme this time of year.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Veterans Out:

RB Brandon Bolden
OL Jamil Douglas
OL James Ferentz
RB D.J. Foster
LB Jonathan Freeny
DL Geneo Grissom
DL Woodrow Hamilton
OL Ted Karras
DL Darius Kilgo
TE James O’Shaugnessy
WR Tony Washington

Thoughts/Reactions: The obvious surprise here is Bolden, who has been a special teams standout and also looked about as good as he ever had running the football this preseason.  His role as a running back has always been to give them depth and the bad news for Bolden is that this is the year the team is stacked at running back and their needs put him in a numbers game that forced him out.  According to reports, the team hasn’t closed the door on him yet and the possibility still remains for him to return.

Other surprises are Hamilton, Karras and Foster.  Hamilton had some good moments during the preseason and showed some toughness after he got banged up in the final match-up against the Giants and flashed at times, but it just wasn’t quite enough for him to stick.

Meanwhile, Karras had seemingly been a top back-up on the interior offensive line, which now leaves them a little thin heading into this season.  Clearly the team has other areas where they needed a roster spot, and Karras simply seemingly fell victim to that.  Should he clear waivers, one would believe they would immediately count their blessings and bring him back to the practice squad.

D.J. Foster couldn’t quite break onto the roster. (USA TODAY Images)

As for Foster, with Cyrus Jones’ injury, it seemed like he could have been a contender in the return game after he handled those duties in the final game.  But it appears the Patriots have other plans and it apparently left him far enough down the depth chart where there just wasn’t a spot for him.  Foster finished tied with four other players in the NFL for the second-most receptions during the preseason with 13, as well as a touchdown.  He’s also a possibility to return should he clear waivers.

The Rest:

LB Trevor Bates
FB Glenn Gronkowski
WR Devin Lucien
K.J. Maye
DL Josh Augusta
DL Michael Bart
WR Austin Carr
TE Sam Cotton
RB LeShun Daniels Jr.
LB Brooks Ellis
WR Cody Hollister
DB David Jones
D.J. Killings
OL Jason King
DB Will Likely
OL Conor McDermott
DB Kenny Moore II
OL Max Rich
DB Jason Thompson
DB Damarius Travis
LB Nick Usher

The team also announced they’ve placed DL Keionta Davis and OL Andrew Jelks, on the non-football injury/reserve list, while 2017 third round pick OL Antonio Garcia was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list.

Carr’s departure was disappointing. (USA TODAY Images)

Thoughts/Reactions: Carr’s departure is arguably the most disappointing, but his arrival coincided with one of the few years where the Patriots just have too much talent to keep him.  Carr finished tied with New Orleans’ Tommylee Lewis as the NFL’s  reception leader in the preseason with 14, as well as the 9th leading receiver in yardage with 153-yards along with two touchdowns.  The trade of Jacoby Brissett for receiver Phillip Dorsett worsened Carr’s chances, and it appears that anyone who might have been a fan of Carr probably won’t see him back in New England.  Carr would have to clear waivers to end up on the practice squad and it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

Glenn Gronkowski’s departure wasn’t a surprise given that the team obviously has James Develin at fullback, who can fill in at tight end as well as an emergency snapper. But Gronkowski’s fumble the other night probably didn’t help his chances and as a result, for now, the team will start 2017 with only one Gronk on the roster.

Offensive lineman Conor McDermott’s departure was a bit of a surprise as the 2017 sixth round draft pick seemed like a player who might be able to contribute, but the team obviously felt otherwise.

While Devin Lucien not making it wasn’t a shock, he’s a player who you can definitely see has shown an incredible amount of growth since being drafted. It would have been fun to see things work out for him, but he’s here at a time where the team is just too loaded at the position.  He looked great during the preseason, finishing 7th in the AFC in yards per catch at 15.1 after hauling in 9 passes for 136 yards. According to Mike Reiss, the team reportedly gave him an injury designation when he was waived.

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