The New England Patriots decided to cut ties with two more camp bodies, and I bet part of the reason was the fact that neither of them seem to be healthy. Tuinei and Fisher were both non-participants in practice yesterday, and Fisher had been seen on the stationary bike a day or two earlier. Tuinei’s release comes just two days after he signed, but he still lasted longer than practice squad longshot Travis Chappelear, who was released on Saturday after signing on Friday.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick takes notes during training camp at the practice fields of Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots decision to release both players now is surprising, so it has to be for health reasons. Let’s take a look at the player of less significance in Tuinei, who was merely fighting for a spot on the practice squad. At 6’4″, Tuinei has plenty of size, and he’s a great athlete who can make big plays in the end zone. He’s also an excellent blocker, but that doesn’t make up for his lack of polish and inconsistent play. He was signed as a camp body at the wide receiver position with the chance to fight for a practice squad spot, and that was really it.
Meanwhile, the release of Elvis Fisher has to sting a little bit, because the Patriots gave him $15,000 in guaranteed money after signing him as an undrafted free agent. Why so much? Fisher was the Patriots third-highest paid UDFA in guaranteed money, and that’s because he was a darn good player in college for the Missouri Tigers. There is no doubt that Fisher has a lot of talent, but the reason why he went undrafted is due to injuries.
Apparently injuries have already come to bite him here in training camp, and that has undermined Fisher’s quietly solid display earlier in camp enough to have him put on the chopping block. I fully expect Fisher to find a gig elsewhere, unless if he is suffering from a serious injury (I highly doubt this). But Fisher is definitely injured, and the Patriots might have just decided to cut ties with a player whom they view to be too injury-prone. It’s sad, too, because I am a huge fan of Fisher’s, and I really wanted him to carve out a spot on the practice squad. I honestly thought he would, and I hope he is able to find his footing on another team.