Patriots Cut-Down: The Turk Shows No Mercy


The New England Patriots along with the other 31 NFL teams had their busiest day yesterday plugging in their puzzle pieces into the playbook and day-dreaming of getting a step closer to the ultimate goal. On the other hand, it was the dreams of 704 players that got shattered. Only 256 players will have another chance in making the team as each team will sign eight players to its practice squad.

Sep 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots helmet during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots helmet during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports /

“Coach wants to see you, and make sure you bring your playbooks” are the famous words of the “The Turk” and no rookie or veteran player want to hear those words, much less, meet “The Turk”. Unfortunately, that was not the case for 24 players in the Patriots roster – some cuts were a surprise, while others were a cut waiting to happen. It’s the job of “The Turk” to find the players and assure they report to the coach’s office with their playbook. And in this case, there’s no prayer that can deflect his fate into any other direction – Tim Tebow knows it better than anyone else.

Of all the Patriots moves such as, TE’s Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells; DE’s Jermaine Cunningham, Marcus Bernard, Justin Francis; LB’s Ja’Gared Davis, Jeff Tarpinian, Mike Rivera; C Matt Stankiewitch; OL’s Luke Patterson, Chris McDonald, Josh Kline; DT Marcus Forston; DL’s Gilbert Pena, Scott Vallone; CB’s Justin Green, Stephon Morris; RB George Winn; FB Ben Bartholomew; WR’s Johnathan Haggerty, Quentin Sims; QB Tim Tebow; S Kanorris Davis; the release of punter Zoltan Mesko was the most surprising for me.

Paying Mesko $1.3 million or paying Ryan Allen $405,000 this year made perfect sense for the team. But because of Mesko’s great punting mechanics and accuracy, I thought he would keep the job, but since a contract restructure was not in the picture, the move was an easy one for the Patriots. Justin Francis release at the time was a shocking revelation as well, but now such move comes to an understanding as he was waived with an injury designation after suffering a high ankle sprain. He will be looking to reach an injury settlement with the team if he clears waivers according to Nick Underhill.

And then, there’s Tim Tebow – a living proof that “The Turk” will deliver the message even to the most well-behaved player, and that mercy or emotion has no room for a roster spot. I predicted Tebow to make the roster for the fact that there might be something Bill Belichick was seeing that I couldn’t possibly see. After all, why even bring him into the team if they already knew what the product had to offer – to sell jerseys? Well, the myth of plugging or thinking that Tebow can play quarterback or offers an upside as a tight end or H-back is done. We have a concrete answer, and Tebow also made it clear too – it’s all (quarterback) or nothing.

And for some players, hearing “Coach wants to see you, and make sure you bring your playbooks, could very well be their last NFL outside the field experience – “The Turk” experience.

UPDATE: Patriots released Leon Washington

Based on Washington’s last two preseason games, the move didn’t come as total shock but it still is because that leaves the Patriots without a specialist in the kicking return position. Julian Edelman did not impress me much, and in part, it’s probably because it was the preseason game and he was being extra cautious in avoiding injury. That leaves rookie Josh Boyce, who showed some potential during the preseason, but this is such a highly skilled position to take care of right off the bat. LeGarrette Blount could also be up for the job as he returned one kick for 27-yards this preseason. And of course, we have Matthew Slater.

Marquice Cole Released

I really though Cole was stepping up during the preseason games to secure a roster spot and that his competition was Nate Ebner. Now it does seem like Ebner’s play and special team upside diminished Cole’s chances of making the roster.

Players Claimed Off  Waivers LB Chris White (third-year) from Detroit and rookies OL Braxston Cave (Cleveland), G Chris Barker (Miami) and DT A.J. Francis (Miami)

Practice Squad Re-signed LB Ja’Gared Davis, S Kanorris Davis, DB Justin Green, DL Marcus Forston and LB Jeff Tarpinian

Read more on Chris Barker and Ja’Gared Davis by Joe Soriano here.

Read more on Braxston Cave and Marcus Forston by Joe Soriano here.

Read more on A.J. Francis, Justin Green and Jeff Tarpinian by Joe Soriano here.

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