Braxton Berrios, the little second-year wideout from the University of Miami, won’t be on the Patriots 53-man roster to start the season. Nor will Gunner Olszewski, the fan-favorite receiver and return man who made a roster bid as an undrafted free agent in camp.
The Patriots are releasing Berrios, a 2018 sixth-rounder, and Olszewski, according to multiple reports. So far, the Patriots have also released Ryan Davis and Damoun Patterson from the wide receiver crew. Olszewski's release could be good news for another undrafted free agent receiver, Jakobi Meyers.
The Patriots wide receiver crew to start the season continues to take shape with Phillip Dorsett, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Cameron Meredith, Meyers and Demaryius Thomas left standing.
Berrios, 5-foot-9, 190, seemed to be in direct competition with Olszewski as a slot receiver/punt returner and – after the first preseason game – the reps and the game activity all went to Olszewski.
Gunner gone means the Patriots are likely heading toward having Julian Edelman handle punt returns this season. That could change, of course, but for now Edelman is the only one on the roster who'd seem to fit that. https://t.co/UrVpFde4kE— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) August 31, 2019
Jakobi Meyers has gotten some work as a punt returner over the last few weeks. Had a few shaky reps in Lions joint practices, but the team continued to give him looks there. If the Patriots are set on getting Julian Edelman away from that role, Meyers could help.— Phil Perry (@PhilAPerry) August 31, 2019
Berrios didn’t catch a pass in any of the final three preseason games after making three catches for 45 yards in the first game. Berrios also returned five punts for 46 yards. Olszewski was the more productive punt returner, averaging more than 13 yards per return.
The chance exists that both can still pass through waivers and land on the Patriots practice squad.
As for the rest of the wideout group, Meredith – who was signed to a two-year deal in August – is coming back from a knee injury suffered last November and seems destined to land on injured reserve if he isn’t released.
Harry, who hasn't done much of anything in terms of on-field activity since leaving before halftime of the first preseason game, is a curious case as well. Is his undisclosed leg injury bothersome enough to land him on IR? He's now nearly month-long absence has likely put him far behind in terms of garnering the trust of Tom Brady and the coaching staff.
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