When roster cuts arrive just before the start of the season, the New England Patriots will be forced to release players they'd like to keep on their team. While there will be the camp bodies the Patriots don't mind losing, there are also players on the roster bubble right now fighting for a job. That includes players who were on the active roster last year, but are in danger of missing out this season. That's the nature of the NFL, as there are notable players each year that teams release. Here are three that could meet that fate for the Patriots.
QB Jacoby Brissett
While Jimmy Garoppolo is firmly entrenched as Brady's backup, the other quarterback on the roster may not be so lucky. Jacoby Brissett played a valuable role for the Patriots last year, starting two games during Brady's four-game Deflategate suspension. However, he has been largely uninspiring in camp and hasn't shown any of the progression New England was hoping to see from him this offseason, causing him to be on the roster bubble.
Brissett was viewed as insurance policy and long-term backup for Garoppolo whenever Brady retires, but if Brady isn't close to that point (which he doesn't appear to be), they could afford to get rid of him - especially if he isn't performing. New England may prefer to put him on the practice squad instead of releasing him, but it's clear they are not happy with his play.
RB Dion Lewis
There's a log-jam at running back and Lewis might be the odd man out. The Patriots added Mike Gillislee and Rex Burkhead this offseason and gave James White an extension. Those three are locked on the roster, with White the clear long-term third down back. That means Lewis will need to beat out Belichick favorite Brandon Bolden and even D.J. Foster to make the roster - which isn't a great sign for the injury-prone Lewis. The Patriots can save nearly $1.3 million by cutting Lewis and they could try to shop him before the 53-man roster cuts.
OT LaAdrian Waddle
Much like running back, there's a log-jam at offensive tackle. Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon are back as the starters, with Cameron Flemming in good shape to serve as the swing tackle. The Pats then added two rookies in the draft: 3rd-rounder Antonio Garcia and 6th-rounder Connor McDermott. Garcia should make the roster so are the Patriots really going to carry five offensive tackles? Probably not, which means Waddle likely won't make the roster after playing in two games as a backup last year. Cutting him saves $850K.Back to the New England Patriots Newsfeed