Bill Belichick hasn’t stopped making headlines. Today, the team announced the release of receiver Chad Jackson and strong safety John Lynch, bringing the team to 51 players.
With Chad Jackson, I was shocked, to say the least. I thought he had begun to make strides near the end of the preseason, but apparently it wasn’t enough for Bill Belichick. Jackson had really struggled fitting in near the beginning of camp, and I guess Belichick had finally had enough. It will be really disappointing to see him go, and it’ll hurt the team too. Who is going to be that number four option? Will it be Washington? Ventrone? Slater? At this point it’s hard to say, although I’m going to start looking at receiver prospects for next years draft.
The feeling I’m getting with John Lynch is that he is going to return following the Kansas City game. The team likely released him so that his contract would not be guaranteed for the season. Mike Reiss breaks it down nicely:
“I have no regrets about my time thus far with the Patriots,” said Lynch. “The immense respect that I’ve long held for the organization has been only heightened over the past couple of weeks. I am going to keep all options open and look forward with excitement to see what the future brings.”
The “thus far” part of Lynch’s comment seems to indicate this could be a situation where Lynch is not kept on the Patriots’ roster for the opening week — when salaries for veterans would be guaranteed — before returning to the club after the first game.
Head coach Bill Belichick also included a comment in the team’s release:
“It goes without saying but John is an all-time great safety, one of the league’s classiest professionals and his elite play speaks for itself,” said Belichick. “As has been the case in other situations, I would not rule anything out down the road.”
The Patriots also began filling out their practice squad by signing six players to it. The players signed include Titus Adams, Mark Dillard, Antwain Spann, Mike Richardson, BenJarvus Green-Ellis… and Vince Redd.
Normally, I wouldn’t excited about a practice-squad team… but this year, I am. We get to keep two very promising prospects in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Vince Redd, as well as four guys with upside Mike Richardson, Antwain Spann, Mark Dillard, and Titus Adams. All of these guys happened to be in contention for roster spots (although Dillard was a longer shot) and it’s amazing that all of them sneaked through waivers the way they did.
The Patriots also claimed two players off waivers. They claimed tight end Jason Pociask from the Jets and offensive tackle Mark LeVoir from the Rams. LeVoir, 26, is a former Notre Dame tackle who has yet to appear in a game. Pociask was a 2006 5th round pick, and has appeared in four games, making one catch.