Veteran New England Patriots center Dan Koppen has been released by the team, which furthers the speculation that guard Brian Waters is returning to the team after equipment has been delivered to his locker. Koppen was viewed as a lock to be released if Waters returns and a likely cut even if he doesn’t, so it’s no surprise that the 32-year-old Boston College product is on the way out.
Even so, it doesn’t make it much easier to stomach the loss of a player who I consider one of my favorite centers in the league. He’s a hard worker who has had to overcome recent injuries and knew that he was on the hot seat in training camp. Koppen said all the right things during the heated competition and did his best by consistently improving.
Despite playing well in the preseason finale against the New York Giants, Koppen was always the odd man out. Ryan Wendell, Nick McDonald, and Dan Connolly can all play more positions than Koppen who is restricted to just center. That lack of versatility was always a big thing against Koppen, and the common thought was that he had to win the starting center gig to maintain a roster spot. He didn’t, with Wendell and Connolly looking to be more effective than him, and the optimism surrounding the return of Waters put the writing on the wall for Koppen.
Let’s wish him a farewell and hope that he can find a new team and have success over there.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.