The New England Patriots decided to clean up some camp body space today by releasing three players in offensive lineman R.J. Mattes, Rutgers product Scott Vallone, and depth linebacker A.J. Edds. All of these three were camp bodies and longshots to make the roster (or, in the cases of Vallone and Mattes, the practice squads), so none of these releases are surprising or notable.
I did find Mattes’s injury interesting, though, as he sustained an ankle injury on Friday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mattes had a successful college career at N.C. State, and I thought he played rather well against the Philadelphia Eagles. Of the three, Mattes had the best chance of doing something (here, making the practice squad), and I think he’ll latch onto another team’s practice squad.
Vallone had a very productive career at Rutgers as a pass rusher, but he just doesn’t have the tools to be an effective pass rusher at the NFL level. While Vallone has an excellent motor and is exactly the character guy most Rutgers players under Bill Belichick are, he has little speed, athleticism, or strength. Vallone mostly got by on intelligence and motor at Rutgers.
Edds has talent, but I didn’t view him as a threat to make the roster at all. To me, the New England Patriots six players at linebacker are locked in with Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins, and Steve Beauharnais (obviously in no order).