NFL cutdown day

Patriots could be interested in these names as cuts roll in

Patriots could be interested in these names as cuts roll in

The Patriots aren’t a team with a ton of job openings.

So, as the league’s 31 other teams make their releases to get down to 53, Director of Pro Personnel Nick Caserio can be choosy about which castoffs he considers throwing a lifeline to.

Before he does that, he has to consider three things: Is the player better than what the team has in-house? Will the player be able to get up-to-speed quickly? Which player that the Patriots have spent months with will go in order to pick the new guy up? Health and contractual stuff enter into it as well, but the Patriots would have to feel good about the answers to the first three questions before dealing with those.

So which players who’ve been released – or may be released – could have attractiveness for the Patriots?

We roll through a few names. So far, they aren’t exactly players the Patriots would stampede in the direction of but the information is always good.

A.J. Derby, TE: A sixth-round pick by the Patriots out of Arkansas in 2015, he was traded to Denver in October 2016 and had 35 catches over two seasons before spending the past two seasons with Miami. He’s 6-5, 240 pounds and has really good hands which are attached to short arms (30.5 inches). The Saints released him after he had five catches for 41 yards this preseason.

Will Tye, TE: Another guy who was with New England for a spell, Tye hasn’t played since 2017 when he played in three games for the Jets. He’s 6-2, 260 so more of a blocking tight end/H-back. He did have 48 catches for the Giants in 2016. He had four catches for 38 yards in the preseason for the Eagles.

Luke Willson, TE: A meager two catches for 10 yards in the preseason for a not-very-good Raiders team. He’s more a blocker than a receiver. He was productive for the Seahawks from 2013 to 2017 an spent last season with the Lions catching 13 passes for 87 yards in 14 games (eight starts).

Logan Paulsen, TE: Big dude and 6-5, 268, the 32-year-old was released by Atlanta. He’s more of a blocker as his nine catches in 15 games for the Falcons last season would indicate.

Laquon Treadwell, WR: A former first-round pick the Vikings have been shopping. He’s got 56 catches for 517 yards and a touchdown in his four-year career. He’s 6-2, 215. The Patriots have enough wideout projects but file Laquon under “Someone You’ve Heard Of.”

Josh Doctson, WR: Same deal as Treadwell. The Redskins are reportedly trying to trade him. He’s 6-2, 205 pounds and has 81 catches in three seasons with Washington. Better bet than Treadwell if the Patriots were to be in the market.

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With Olszewski, Berrios' cuts, Patriots WR group comes into clearer focus

With Olszewski, Berrios' cuts, Patriots WR group comes into clearer focus

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.

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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Patriots cutdown day tracker: Hoyer cut, Crossen traded

Patriots cutdown day tracker: Hoyer cut, Crossen traded

The Patriots - and the rest of the NFL - have to be down to their 53-man roster limit by 4 p.m. Saturday. After a busy Friday that included a trade of a cornerback, the acquisition of a center and other moves, here's a look at their cutdown day moves on Saturday as the deadline approached. 

5:02 p.m.: In a surprising move, the Patriots released wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, according to Ian Rapoport

3:58 p.m.: The Patriots trade cornerback Keion Crossen to the Texans, meaning Gunner Olszewski could make the final roster after all, according to Ian Rapoport. The Patriots received a sixth round pick in return for Crossen.

2:29 p.m.: Linebacker Terez Hall is among the Patriots cuts, according to Nick Underhill of The Athletic.

1:44 p.m.: The Patriots will release quarterback Brian Hoyer, according to multiple reports, making rookie fourth-round pick Jarrett Stidham of Auburn the sole backup behind Tom Brady.

1:15 p.m.: Linebacker Scooby Wright, signed just this past week, has been waived, according to Doug Kyed of NESN.

12:33: The Patriots have cut defensive lineman Nick Thurman, per multiple reports.

12:25 p.m.: The Patriots have cut offensive lineman Dan Skipper, according to Kyed.

11:44 a.m.: Wide receiver Gunner Olszewski is released, according to Kevin Duffy of the Boston Herald. That could open up a roster spot for undrafted free agent receiver Jakobi Meyers. 

11:20: Linebacker Calvin Munson is among the cuts, according to multiple reports. He could find his way to the practice squad if left unclaimed. 

10:32 a.m.: Tight end Eric Saubert, a training camp acquisition in a trade for a seventh-round draft pick with the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago, has been cut, according to Underhill. 

10:30 a.m.: Tight end Stephen Anderson has been waived but is a candidate to make the 10-man practice squad, according to Kyed.

10:30 a.m.: Defensive lineman Uofamba Kamalu has been waived, according to Kyed.

8:38 a.m.: Wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a sixth-round pick in 2018 from Miami who spent last season on injured reserve, has been told he'll be cut, according to ESPN'S Mike Reiss.

On Friday, in addition to the trade of corner Duke Dawson to the Broncos and the acquisition of center Russell Bodine from the Bills, the Patriots also cut:

Offensive lineman Martez Ivey, offensive lineman Tyler Gauthier, linebacker Christian Sam, wide receiver Damoun Patterson, defensive back A.J. Howard, wide receiver Ryan Davis, defensive tackle David Parry,  offensive linemen Cedrick Lang and Tyree St. Louis and tight end Andrew Beck.

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