The New England Patriots released both Brandon Deaderick and Kyle Love in the past two days, and I have very different stances on both released from a pure football standpoint (this post is not going to get into the “deep stuff” regarding Love, because that’s just going to put things in another direction- that doesn’t belong in this post). Releasing Deaderick was a good decision, because he is actually a poor player who was more of the problem than the solution. The Pats had too many guys who were primarily run-stuffers at DT, and Deaderick wasn’t even good against the run either. He fits the Jacksonville Jaguars better, and the issue with the Patriots was too many run-stuffers. Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead are not only better than Deaderick, but both of them also fill a greater need for the Patriots; they upgrade the pass rush.
However, releasing Kyle Love went a step too far from a football perspective, because the Patriots released a solid player and just got thin at defensive tackle. It was a surprising release for multiple reasons, and I was surprised to see such a solid contributor released. He would have eased Armstead’s transition and Kelly’s snaps, and Love would have been stout against the run and could have also came in for Vince Wilfork (though, that wouldn’t be often due to Wilfork’s much better stamina these days). Although Love was a non-factor against the pass rush, he was a solid player overall, and the Pats made one cut too many there.
But let’s focus on Deaderick. According to a recent report from CSNNE’s Tom E. Curran, Deaderick had work ethic issues in New England and was described as a source as “complacent”. Although this couldn’t have been the primary reason for Deaderick’s release, as Curran notes, it was almost certainly a factor. Curran is the best in the business at reporting character concerns (he did so with Brandon Lloyd and Aqib Talib earlier this offseason), and this report further entrenches my belief that the Patriots made a good move in cutting Deaderick, contrary to popular belief. As for Love, I am not willing to say that the Pats were justified in making the release, and I am still shocked by the move.
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