Patriots Nation can breathe a sigh of relief, as linebacker Dane Fletcher has cleared waivers after the New England Patriots elected to waive him instead of holding on to him until the 27th of August. It was a gamble and had us all a little bit worried, but the valuable backup LB is still a Patriot.
The thing is, it would have been a huge surprise if somebody picked him up from waivers. He is a valuable player, but Fletcher isn’t a starter and is out for the entire 2012 season with an ACL tear. On top of that, he’s an RFA after this season; it wouldn’t make sense for another team to claim him. The Pats now have an extra slot on the 90-man roster- perhaps for another offensive lineman.
After this season, the Pats have the high ground and can match any offer given to the RFA. Fletcher is happy to be a Patriot, and it’s certainly great to have him back. Nick Caserio and the organization were vague on why they didn’t wait until the 27th- it was a quizzical move due to his value- but I guess they looked at the situation and thought, “Well, Fletcher’s an RFA after this year, right? Yeah, whatever, nobody will pick him up. Let’s just clear a spot on the roster, watch him clear waivers, scare everyone, and then put him on the IR.”
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