Some news and notes on this Monday:
Patriots make two trades ahead of roster cutdowns on Sunday
Sunday was a busy day for the New England Patriots, with the team making a couple of moves to add depth to their tackle position.
The first one included a deal with the Cleveland Browns, which sent Pierre Strong Jr. to the Browns in exchange for Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
Wheatley is a former undrafted player that New England worked out a year ago, before he eventually landed in Cleveland in 2022.
He’s yet to play in a regular season game, but he put up some performances on tape that clearly caught the eye of the Patriots, who now at least have another player to give them some depth at a spot they’re still relatively thin at.
According to Jordan Schultz, the Patriots also traded a sixth-round pick to the Vikings in exchange for offensive tackle Vederian Lowe, which was the second move from Sunday.
Lowe played 33 tackles in 2022, all of which came at left tackle, but he saw time at both tackle spots this past preseason.
Meanwhile, the trade of Strong Jr. could potentially be a positive sign for J.J. Taylor, who played well the last few weeks. Taylor finished with a team-leading 6 receptions for 48-yards this preseason, while carrying 9 times for 36 yards (4.0 avg).
Strong, who was a fourth-round selection for the Patriots last year, showed some explosiveness after his 44-yard run last season against the Cardinals but didn’t quite show enough running the football after a fairly inconsistent preseason.
With the addition of Ezekiel Elliott, along with the emergence of Taylor, it didn’t leave a lot of room for Strong this year and it looks like the Patriots wisely felt the better move was to try and solidify their offensive line a little more heading into the regular season.
Plenty of Questions Still Among Injured Players
The fact the Patriots were so active in trying to acquire depth at that spot tells you that they’re clearly concerned with who they have on their roster heading into the season.
They still have some key injury questions, with both guards Cole Strange and Reilly Reiff each recovering from injuries. Strange was injured earlier in preseason, with the initial injury itself looking potentially pretty serious when it happened.
Fortunately, he seemingly avoided disaster, and the club has seemed to be cautious during his recovery.
Mike Onwenu started the preseason on PUP and appears closer to returning, but the team has also been careful with his recovery. The first positive bit of news on him came ahead of the Green Bay game when Onwenu was spotted out in Wisconsin taking things in as a spectator and he only recently returned to practice on a limited basis.
Calvin Anderson has spent the preseason on the non-football-injury list and has yet to participate, while Reiff’s injury occurred Friday night where he got his leg rolled up on but did manage to walk off the field under his own power.
As a result, behind closed doors, the fact we saw them make two moves to bring a couple of players in tells us that there was a sense of urgency to get something done ahead of the cutdowns.
More importantly, it’s obvious that the goal was to ensure they were able to get a couple of quality players, and they’ll at least now have two weeks ahead of the opener to get them both up to speed.
Roberts has had a strong preseason.
(PHOTO:David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Who Have the Patriots Cut So Far?
The Patriots made some early moves on Sunday, with 11 players having been let go ahead of the regular season per the league’s transaction wire.
Among those names were the following:
DT Carl Davis (released)
DT Justus Tavai (waived)
S Brad Hawkins (waived)
LB Diego Fagot (waived)
LB Carson Wells (waived)
CB Rodney Randle (waived)
CB Quandry Mosely (waived)
TE Johnny Lumpkin (waived)
TE Scotty Washington (waived)
OL Micah Vanterpool (waived)
RB C.J. Marable (waived)
Davis’ release essentially signals the team is pleased with what they saw from second-year player Sam Roberts, who finished strong after his performance Friday night in Tennessee.
Roberts played well, finishing with seven tackles, including two tackles for a loss, a sack, and three quarterback hits.
Teams have until tomorrow, August 29th, to get down to their final 53-man rosters ahead of the 4:00pm ET deadline.
Odds and Ends
Wheatley Jr. is a firey player, with the offensive tackle reportedly suffering an injury during a fight on the field earlier this preseason in Cleveland. Fortunately, he appears fine having passed his medical evaluation for the trade that brought him to New England. … Offensive line coach Adrian Klemm expressed some frustration recently, telling Mike Reiss that the health up front has made it tough to build any continuity on the offensive line. “We haven’t had the time to really have any continuity,” said Klemm. “There have been a lot of moving pieces. Hopefully it will settle down in the coming weeks and we’ll get a better feel for it. So that’s a work in progress.” … The fact both Kayshon Boutte and Demario Douglas both appear set to make the roster has Tyquan Thornton’s status for this season in question. The more likely scenario would probably see him on injured reserve to begin the season, putting him essentially in the same position he was in a year ago when he missed the first four weeks of 2022 while recovering from a fractured collarbone. … Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones, who has been out of action since August 4th, finally returned to practice on a limited basis on Sunday. “Just trying to be healthy,” Jones told reporters Sunday. “Just trying to be as healthy as I can just kind of heading into the season. Like I said, day-by-day, just trying to be out there with my teammates.” Asked if he’d be ready for Week 1, Jones replied, “That’s the goal.”
Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: Calvin Anderson Cole Strange Jonathan Jones Pierre Strong Jr. Riley Reiff Sam Roberts Tyrone Wheatley Jr. Vederian Lowe