The New England Patriots have finally made all of the necessary cuts in preparation for their Week 1 matchup against the Miami Dolphins. Cam Newton has been ditched in favor of Mac Jones, and the back end of the defense is once again looking like one of the sharpest collection of backups in the game.
However, that doesn’t mean Bill Belichick necessarily knocked it out of the park on cutdown day. There are some players that should be extremely thankful that they made the roster given the circumstances around them.
Be it just a poor fit from a schematic point of view, some questionable preseason performances, or the fact that the Patriots could get more value by trading these players rather than sticking them down on the bench, New England’s 53-man group may not necessarily be the strongest possible team Belichick could’ve fielded.
These 3 Patriots players should be grateful to Belichick for believing in them, because they were the most surprising players that avoided the dreaded cutdown axe and made it onto the roster.
3 Patriots who had no business making the 53-man roster
3. TE Devin Asiasi
Asiasi was one of two tight ends taken in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and it looks like Belichick is on the verge of parting with both of them. Dalton Keene is still on injured reserve after recording just three catches last year, and Asiasi will be the third-string player behind Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith after totaling just two catches.
In Preseason Week 2 against the Eagles, Asiasi was the only healthy tight end and received 52 snaps in the game, but he was targeted just once on his 17 routes run and didn’t earn a completion. Even though they kept him over Matt LaCosse, that should give a damning indictment of Asiasi’s role in the offense right now.
Devin Asiasi may be on his last leg with the Patriots.
With a deluge of tight ends hitting the open market thanks to cutdown day, no one would’ve batted an eye if Belichick swapped out Asiasi for someone that might be a better fit for New England offensively. Instead, one of Belichick’s third-rounders will languish away on the bench.
Asiasi has the athleticism to become a solid tight end in this league, but with the Smith/Henry duo in place for years to come, Asiasi won’t be given a ton of opportunities to show off what he can do. The least New England could’ve done is cut him and let him try his luck elsewhere.