The New England Patriots released Greg Salas, Mike Rivera, and Lex Hilliard yesterday, with Salas’s release being the biggest of the three. Hilliard was signed this offseason to get some snaps at the fullback position due to his size, and he did play about five snaps in the Pats most recent game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Meanwhile, Mike Rivera earned a roster spot on the strength of a good end to the preseason, but he was a somewhat surprising addition. I honestly thought Jeff Tarpinian was among those better than him, but that’s just me.
In any case, those three were released in the wake of the signings of wide receiver Deion Branch and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. in response to Aaron Hernandez’s low ankle sprain (4-6 weeks).
Salas was traded from the St. Louis Rams to the New England Patriots this offseason for a conditional pick in the 2015 draft, and it looked like a good buy-low deal for the Pats. Josh McDaniels coached Salas last season on the Rams, so he probably had a high amount of input on the move to acquire him.
The release of Hilliard means that the Pats will move forward without a fullback, unless if they decide to promote James Develin from the practice squad or convert Brandon Bolden to the position. Although the latter is more likely than the former, neither of them are scenarios that could happen.
The Pats also reportedly worked out wide receiver Brian Robiskie, but I highly doubt he signs with the team. Robiskie isn’t a terrible receiver, but he certainly doesn’t present an upgrade over Branch or Salas.
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