New England Patriots Back-end of Roster Moves Highlight Their Weaknesses

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Jan 3, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley (14) is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95) in the 2014 NFC Wild Card playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots finally pulled the plug on the Matt Flynn experiment and released the injured quarterback. While removing the best trivia question in training camp with Flynn being the only quarterback on the Patriots roster who has thrown six touchdowns in a game, the move to sign Ryan Lindley gives the Patriots a quarterback in camp who actually can contribute in practice.

Flynn may still return later in the preseason when he is healthy at last, but the move to sign Lindley is twofold: one, starting quarterback Tom Brady is unlikely to play much until preseason game three (as usual). With Brady on the sidelines in the preseason games, the Patriots do not want to give top backup Jimmy Garoppolo all the snaps and expose him to injury. Lindley can take the snaps with third string offensive linemen blocking. In addition, by not playing Brady it keeps the “no practice, no play” policy in place.

In addition, the release of Flynn sends a message to the veterans such as Brandon LaFell, Alan Branch, and Ryan Wendell. The Patriots need to have these key players ready for kickoff in September and they cannot contribute sitting on the sidelines. One veteran being released sends a message to the rest. In August, it is all about sending messages.

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