The report from Patriots.com:
The New England Patriots placed two players on the reserve/injured list, placed one player on the reserve/non-football injury list and released 14 players today. Tackle Oliver Ross (shoulder) was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list, while linebacker Bo Ruud (ankle) and defensive lineman Kenny Smith (arm) were placed on the reserve/injured list. Additionally, New England released first-year defensive lineman Titus Adams, veteran cornerback Fernando Bryant, rookie tight end Tyson DeVree, rookie safety Mark Dillard, veteran center Mike Flynn, rookie running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, veteran quarterback Matt Gutierrez, veteran linebacker Victor Hobson, rookie linebacker Vince Redd, veteran cornerback Mike Richardson, rookie tackle Stephen Sene, veteran defensive back Antwain Spann, veteran defensive lineman Santonio Thomas and veteran offensive lineman John Welbourn.
Ok… where to start?
The biggest surprise? Fernando Bryant. I didn’t think he played terrific football, but he was starter from day one. Wow. I can’t even begin to hypothesize why he would be released. I’m shocked. Also released at the cornerback position was Mike Richardson, someone I predicted. That leaves Ellis Hobbs, Terrence Wheatley, Jonathan Wilhite, and Lewis Sanders. But that can’t be all can it? So… that means Belichick must have something up his sleeve, right? And if you’re a real Patriots fan, you know who I’m thinking. Is a Ty Law deal actually imminent?
There weren’t any other “big” surprises, but a few noteable names. Matt Gutierrez was released. My guess is that he gets claimed off waivers, although he would likely return to the practice sqad if not. A lot of people were probably surprised by this move, but I really wasn’t (see previous post). Then there was BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Although his release was expected, it really is a shame because I doubt he clears waivers. I was really dissapointed that Vince Redd got released as well. I really liked him a lot, and I was hoping that his strong preseason play would be enough to earn him a roster spot. Hopefully he can clear waivers. Mike Flynn and Antwain Spann were two other big names to not make the team. There was also Victor Hobson, but a lot of people saw this coming (again, see previous post).
Now, I’ll address the other type of surprise, the surprise of those who made the team. Ray Ventrone was one of them. I’m very glad he made the team. The converted receiver really showed some flashes this preseason, and he could potentially see some playing time in the slot with Welker’s undisclosed injury. Then, C.J. Jones. I’m not going to lie, I counted him out after the first preseason game. But he has shown some strong receiving and return ability, and surprisingly, showed enough to earn himself a roster spot. Then, there was Dan Connolly. I really didn’t think he stood much of a chance at making the roster… but again, I was wrong.
So, in the end, there were some big surprises of who was cut, and who remained. Yet, the roster is not finalized. Could a Willie Anderson, Ty Law, or Junior Seau be making their way to (or back to) Foxborough in the coming days? We’ll just have to wait to see.