Free safety (2): Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon
Strong safety (2): Patrick Chung, Jordan Richards
Practice squad: Brock Vereen
Cut: Cedric Thompson
One of the more underrated starting safety duos in the NFL, McCourty and Chung will pilot the back end of the secondary into the Arizona desert in Week 1. McCourty continues to play as a top-five free safety, and Chung has proven to be a force against the run and surprisingly effective in coverage since returning to New England after a brief, terrible stint with Philly back in 2013.
Harmon and Richards are neither extraordinary nor entirely awful. Harmon has displayed a knack for being opportunistic as a center fielder, as a scooped up a few more easy overthrown interceptions in 2015. But he also got embarrassed by Brandon Marshall in Week 15 while filling-in for McCourty, so a backup is what he should remain for the time being. The Pats likely won’t take Vereen onto the active roster, but they should stow him away on the practice squad for developmental depth purposes.
Next: Special teams (5)