FOXBORO -- The Patriots will see some familiar faces Sunday when they play the Dolphins and former New England interior lineman Ted Larsen.
Then again, a suddenly interesting Bill Belichick noted Friday, the Patriots are used to seeing their players of seasons past end up elsewhere. In his estimation, the Patriots see their former players stay in the league moreso than most other organizations.
“There’s 70-something guys in the league like that that have been here and are playing for somebody else, or whatever the number is,” Belichick said when asked about facing Larsen. “It’s a lot. Seventy to 90, somewhere in there, depending on how you want to count the practice-squad players and today’s waiver wire vs. yesterday’s waiver wire. There’s a lot of guys out there. It’s one of the highest numbers in the league.”
Asked to clarify, Belichick responded, “I think we have more [former] players that are playing on other teams than other teams [do], or one of them. I don’t know if we’re the highest. We’re one of the highest; I can tell you that. We’re up there pretty high, but it depends on how you want to count them: starters, roster players, IR, practice squad. You can run the list that you run and count them up how you want to count them up, but we’d be up there pretty high.”
Belichick loosely estimated that there might be an average of three former Pats per team in the NFL. Of course, the actual number varies from team to team, with the Colts’ roster essentially looking like a Patriots museum.
Interestingly enough, the question of the total number was explored this offseason by Pats Pulpit, who determined in May that there were 91 former Patriots on other rosters.