Patriots: NE cuts fifth-round kicker Justin Rohrwasser and Nick Folk

Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Patriots are cutting controversial fifth-rounder Justin Rohrwasser, but hope to keep him on the practice squad. They should not do that.

Some Patriots draft picks outplay their point of selection, while others (mostly wide receivers) generally fade into obscurity.

So imagine our astonishment when this year’s fifth-rounder — a kicker, of all things — created a mid-April thud and controversy whirlwind immediately after being selected.

It appears that controversial Patriots kicker Justin Rohrwasser probably will not get the chance to be the heir apparent to Steven Gostkowski in 2020, however.

The ’20 draftee is reportedly already being released in the team’s all-encompassing wave of cuts, which many believed meant they’d hand the job over to late-period signee Nick Folk.

Um, about that.

Clearly, there is some chicanery at hand here. As it stands, the New England Patriots are starting their kicking game from scratch one week before the season kicks off.

While New England hopes to bring Rohrwasser back to the practice squad (likely to cover their tracks somewhat), we would rather he not be part of the equation altogether.

The fervor surrounding Rohrwasser’s selection came when it was discovered that the Marshall kicker sported, among his many tattoos, a “Three Percenters” logo, the mark of a right-wing militia known for taking up arms and defending their ideology. The Three Percenters were among those defending white supremacists at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, famous for providing “very fine people on both sides”.

He removed the tattoo this summer after vowing that he’d gotten the ink in high school, unaware of the context of the militia’s behavior. Rohrwasser did get the tattoo because he believed he was supporting the military.

Controversy aside, it appears the inconsistent and dinged-up Rohrwasser simply wasn’t as reliable as Bill Belichick had hoped he’d be, and it was ultimately his performance that struck him from the roster.

It was a bit unexpected, though, that after all the fervor that surrounded his selection, the Patriots would wait this long before cutting ties, especially since it’s now clear that the team had no interest in handing the job over to Folk, either.

What happens next? Perhaps some chicanery, and Rohrwasser is … reinstated from the practice squad in the weeks to come? Regardless, the Pats have a week to get their handle on a kicking situation that’s now back to square one.