iJul 27, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) directs a drill as teammate Tim Tebow (5) looks on during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
The New England Patriots face their first round of roster cut-downs at the beginning of the week and final cuts to 53 by the end of this week after the final preseason game against the Giants. With the impressive collection of writing talent at Musketfire.com, it seemed like a good idea to take advantage of their insight, analysis and expert commentary on all things New England Patriots by having one piece focusing on the pending roster cutdowns and gathering everyone’s expert opinions in one place for the convenience of you, the reader.
Contributing to the piece are MusketFire.com Lead Editor Joe Soriano and Staff Writers Matt Wincherauk, Gary Wolff, Chris Martin, Hal Bent, Cyrus Gellar, Chris Simoneau, Celia Westbrook, and Chris Field.
The Patriots’ offseason has been…interesting, to say the least. From the uncertainty at tight end with the “Gronk Surgery Watch”and move from starting tight end of the New England Patriots to a jail cell in Southeastern Massachusetts for Aaron Hernandez. At wide receiver, the Patriots brass chose to let long-time starting wide receiver Wes Welker leave in free agency and moved quickly to sign Danny Amendola and a number of veterans who did not stick through training camp. With veterans Brandon Lloyd and Deion Branch not invited back as well, there were a number of roster spots open in the receiving corps.
With the New England Patriots emphasizing the defense again in the draft and some veterans brought in to contribute on the defensive line and in the secondary with the influx of young players, there are a number of positional battles as the team tries to settle on the right mix of veterans and young players to get the best talent and playmaking on the field to build the defense back to the championship levels of a decade ago. The defense already got a reworking on the defensive line as young, run-stuffing defensive tackles Brandon Deaderick and Kyle Love were cut prior to the opening of training camp.
With a number of undrafted free agents making their mark on both sides of the ball (and a scholarship from Rutgers University apparently coming with a “Get into Training Camp Free in Foxboro, MA” voucher to redeem), a mix of high draft picks from previous years and free agents brought in previously, and limited roster spots available, the competition this year for a roster spot is again a tight battle coming into the end of preseason. For certain, head coach Bill Belichick will have his usual surprise cuts and moves that no one saw coming in advance. Fortunately, MusketFire.com will be on top of all the moves with insight, commentary, opinion and analysis for you the reader. So without further ado, here are the MusketFire.com staff picks and analysis for each position on the roster as cutdowns loom: