The New England Patriots made ten announced cuts today, with cornerback Stephon Morris being an unannounced but reported cut. The Patriots biggest cuts today were Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells, and Marcus Benard, with the next closest cut in terms of magnitude being backup linebacker and special teamer Mike Rivera.
There was little doubt that Rivera would be cut, but he did spend some time on the Patriots 53-man roster last season, largely due to a few injuries and his ability to play on special teams. While Rivera can play some on STs, I’ve never been a fan of his, and he was clearly on the way out. The Patriots look perfectly set at linebacker with a great group of six in Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dont’a Hightower, Dane Fletcher, Jamie Collins, and seventh-round pick Steve Beauharnais. There was simply no place for Rivera, and I fully expect him to be joined shortly by Jeff Tarpinian, who does exactly what Rivera does, except much better (Tarp has some flashes against the run). Rivera’s cut comes a few days after nine-year vet Niko Koutouvides‘s release, and he was also a backup LB and STer for the Patriots.
The other two minor, non-UDFA releases that the New England Patriots announced are very minor indeed. Wide receiver Johnathan Haggerty did absolutely nothing while with the Patriots, and the former small-school receiver’s only shot at this point is to make somebody’s practice squad.
Luke Patterson is the other cut, and the 25-year-old offensive lineman has spent most of his time with the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad. We’ll see if the former Texas A&M defensive lineman (yes, he used to play on the defensive side of the trenches in college) can find a new practice squad, and I like his chances more than Haggerty’s right now.