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New England Patriots Roster Projection-Final

A little late on this and since things are happening as we speak, we’d better get cracking!!

Offense:

QB (3):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham

In:  Brian Hoyer

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

Comments:  I’d personally cut Hoyer.  Even if Stidham isn’t completely ready, it’s not like the Pats are winning a Super Bowl with Hoyer if Brady goes down.  Besides, couldn’t you get him, or someone like him, off the streets if something catastrophic happens to Brady?  I think so.  But alas, the Pats won’t do it…I don’t feel like it anyway.

RB (5):

Locks:  Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, James Develin (FB)

In:  None

Out:  Jakob Johnson (FB)

Way Out:  Nick Brossette

Practice Squad:  Johnson

Comments:  Pretty easy here.  Burkhead didn’t sniff the field last night, so I imagine he gets back up to the “lock” category.  Johnson won’t count against the 10-man practice squad limit as an international signing.  Plus, he played some linebacker last night.  So he will ultimately stick in this capacity.

WR (6):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, N’Keal Harry, Phillip Dorsett

In:  Jakobi Meyers

Out:  Braxton Berrios, Gunner Olszewski

Way Out:  Damoun Patterson, Ryan Davis

PUP:  Cameron Meredith

Practice Squad:  Berrios, Olszewski

Comments:  Big change from the last projection.  Didn’t think Gordon and Thomas would be there for Game 1 with their respective situations.  And with Dorsett not playing last night, that pretty much makes him a lock.  Meyers probably did enough this preseason that he won’t slip through waivers to the practice squad.  Berrios has been all hype, no results for 2 preseasons now.  Gunner is a nice story, but there is no room.  He should be able to work on his skills on the practice squad.  Played cornerback in college and found himself there in the second half last night.  So he could be one of those jack of all trade guys to reach down and get as needed.  Big fall for Maurice Harris as well.  Big time hype all offseason and into the preseason games, disappointed a bit on the field, got hurt and was released a week or so ago.

TE (2):

Locks:  None

In:  Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo

Out:  Stephen Anderson, Eric Saubert, Andrew Beck

Way Out:  None

Suspended:  Benjamin Watson (4 games), Lance Kendricks (1 game)

Practice Squad:  Beck

Comments:  LaCosse hasn’t played much, but again…the contract.  Izzo didn’t play last night, so that tells me he is in.  I’m not sure Anderson has practice squad eligibility, but if he does he could end up there.  Beck can play fullback apparently, so that may get him on the p-squad himself.

OL (8):

Locks:  Isaiah Wynn (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), Ted Karras (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT),

In:  Korey Cunningham (T), Jermaine Eluemunor (G), Russell Bodine (C)

Out:  James Ferentz (C), Dan Skipper (T), Cole Croston (T)

Way Out:  Tyler Gauthier (C), Martez Ivey (T), Cedrick Lang (T), Tyree St. Louis (T)

IR:  David Andrews (C), Hjalte Froholdt (G)

NFI:  Yodny Cajuste (T)

Practice Squad:  Skipper, Croston, Ferentz

Comments:  Huge changes here as well since the last projection.  Bill apparently saw enough of Skipper, Croston and Ferentz this preseason to realize they are not the answer to anything.  Combined with the unexpected and unfortunate medical situation of Andrews, the Pats made trades for the three offensive linemen in the “in” category.  The compensation given up would seem to indicate they all make the squad despite not really seeing them play.  We noticed Froholdt a little bit this preseason, not necessarily a good thing for an O-Lineman.  So his injury last night would seem to have come at a fortuitous time for both he and the team.

Defense:

DE (4):

Locks:  Michael Bennett, John Simon, Chase Winovich

In:  Deatrich Wise

Out:  None

Way Out:  Nick Thurman

IR:  Derek Rivers, Keionta Davis

Comments:  A lot of talk about Wise not making the cut.  And his inclusion in the game yesterday may not be a good sign.  But he has some talent, so I am not sure he gets tossed aside so easily.  Rivers is hurt…again…and that may buy him another year.  But there is the possibility the Pats just cut bait and let him have a fresh start elsewhere.  I thought the Pats released Davis, but he shows up on their roster as being on injured reserve, so there’s that.

DT (4):

Locks:  Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Danny Shelton

In:  Byron Cowart

Out:  Ufomba Kamalu, David Parry, Trent Harris

Way Out:  None

Practice Squad:  Harris

Comments:  Shelton was such a non-factor last season that it was kind of a shock he was eventually re-signed.  It will be an even bigger shock when he makes the team.  Both he and Cowart apparently played their way on to the team this preseason, making arguably the Patriots’ biggest free agent signing, Mike Pennel, expendable and released already like a week ago.

LB (5):

Locks:  Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts

In:  None

Out:  Calvin Munson, Christian Sam, Scooby Wright

Way Out:  Terez Hall

IR:  Shilique Calhoun

Practice Squad:  Munson

Comments:  Some big buzz around Munson, but I don’t see it.  Yeah, I suppose it is as a special teamer, to replace a guy like Brandon King.  But my sense is he could go through easily to the practice squad and you could go get him when you really need him.

CB (6):

Locks:  Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams

In:  Keion Crossen

Out:  Ken Webster

Way Out:  None

IR:  D’Angelo Ross

Traded:  Duke Dawson

Practice squad:  Webster

Comments:  Rapid fall for Dawson.  Second round pick last year then got hurt and missed most of the year.  When he got healthy, he couldn’t crack the active roster.  Then the Pats took Williams in the second round this year and all of a sudden he gets dealt for like 20 cents on the dollar today to Denver.  Ouch.  At least they got something.  Crossen has been a mixed bag defensively this preseason, but they also like him on special teams.  And you know how Bill feels about his special teamers.

S (4):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Terrance Brooks

In:  None

Out:  Obi Melifonwu

Way Out:  A.J. Howard

IR:  Malik Gant

Practice Squad:  Melifonwu

Comments:  Moved Brooks to safety in this projection.  That is his primary position, but it seems the team will spot him at safety some too.  Gant got carted off last night, so he gets to go on IR instead of the street.  Chung’s legal issues won’t likely affect him this year.  Not sure if Obi is eligible for the P-squad but if he is, I think he will be there…unless he is claimed by another team of course.

Specialists (6):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Jake Bailey (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Nate Ebner (ST), Brandon Bolden (ST)

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

IR:  Brandon King

Comments:  Not much to say here.  We already knew Bailey beat out incumbent Ryan Allen.  We will always have last years’ Super Bowl Ryan!!

Lots of moving pieces still to come.  But this is where I see it for now.

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New England Patriots Roster Projection

It’s that time of year again…well, actually, I am a little late.  The first preseason game is tonight.  I guess I was just a little preoccupied with the Boston Red Sox’ collapse.  In any event, let’s dive right in:

Offense:

QB (3):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham

In:  Brian Hoyer

Out:  Danny Etling (WR??!)

Way Out:  None

Comments:  Some reports in camp have suggested Stidham is has outplayed Hoyer and that could make Hoyer expendable.  While outplaying Hoyer may not be that difficult, I am not ready to push him off the roster quite yet…despite the silly 3 mil cap hit.  Etling all of a sudden is a wide receiver I guess.  So much for him making much noise.  And please, no more about Brady’s contract…or him selling his house in MA.  As much as we all love him, he SHOULD be year to year.  Going into next season he will be 43 years old for Chrissakes.  Despite how he has seemed to defy Father Time, one never knows when the end will come.  He has said it himself, he is in uncharted territory.  I’d love to have him as long as he is…well…Tom Brady.  But how much longer will that be?

RB (5):

Locks:  Sony Michel, James White, Damien Harris, James Develin (FB)

In:  Rex Burkhead

Out:  None

Way Out:  Nick Brossette, Jakob Johnson (FB)

Comments:  Have a funny feeling Rex is a little bit on the bubble here.  I like the guy when he is healthy.  A lot actually.  But sometimes that is a big “if”.  And 4 pure running backs sometimes can be a bit steep.  Especially when there are other question marks on the roster.  But, in the end, Michel can be a bit of a question mark with regard to injury as well.  And Harris is still unproven.  So I am not sure Rex is in any real danger.  Yet.  I don’t know who Brossette is.  And Johnson will end up on the practice squad as their one “international signing” or some crap like that.  In any event, he doesn’t count against any part of the roster I hear, so off to the practice squad you go.

WR (4):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry

In:  Phillip Dorsett, Maurice Harris

Out:  Jakobi Meyers, Dontrelle Inman, Braxton Berrios, Damoun Patterson

Way Out:  Ryan Davis, Gunner Olszewski

PUP:  Demaryius Thomas, Cameron Meredith

Suspended:  Josh Gordon

Comments:  Your guess is as good as mine!!!  Edelman…yup.  And the first rounder Harry.  Then…I have no f’n idea!!  Dorsett would seem to have the inside track as someone that has been here for 2 years.  And seems to be liked by everyone, despite not doing much on the field.  Harris was an early camp favorite, so he would seem to be in the lead.  But now comes…Jakobi Meyers!!  An undrafted free agent (and you know the Pats need to keep one to four of those!), all of a sudden he is the receiver that “Brady is the most comfortable with”.  OK.  There have been no games yet.  So I am pumping the brakes on that.  Inman I don’t think has practiced, but I could be wrong.  Berrios seems to get some buzz all the time, but is it actually translating?  The club just signed Meredith (can anyone say “Malcolm Mitchell”?), but with his injury history, I am not giving him a spot yet either.  You can bet Gordon will have a spot if he gets cleared.  But that may be a ways away if it does actually happen.  There will be some moving parts around this position during the exhibition season, you can count on that much.

TE (2):

Locks:  None

In:  Matt LaCosse, Lance Kendricks

Out:  Ryan Izzo, Stephen Anderson, Andrew Beck

Way Out:  None

Suspended:  Benjamin Watson

Comments:  Speaking of moving parts…I have no idea here.  LaCosse would seem to be a lock because of the contract they gave him.  But you never know.  Kendricks is kind of here by default.  Izzo and Beck?  Who knows?  Anderson could make some noise too.  I.  Just.  Don’t.  Know.

OL (7):

Locks:  Isaiah Wynn (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), David Andrews (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT),

In:  Hjalte Froholdt (G), Ted Karras (G/C),

Out:  James Ferentz (C),

Way Out:  Tyler Gauthier (C), Martez Ivey (T), Cedrick Lang (T), Dan Skipper (T), Tyree St. Louis (T)

NFI:  Yodny Cajuste (T)

Comments:  Thin.  There will be some moves here at the end of camp.  I’d bet my house on that.  Well, I won’t do that.  But I feel pretty good about it.  No one knows if Wynn can do the job.  But I don’t think they are rushing out to get Trent Williams from the Washington Redskins.  Too much dough.  AND…he wants more.  So I guess it’s Wynn or Thuney at left tackle.  We will see what happens.  Dan Skipper has gotten some run at first team left tackle I guess.  Apparently, the guy is a monster (physically folks!).  But also apparently, he has been on like 10 teams in his career and also has been turnstiled in camp as well.  How’s that for confidence?  A couple of veterans have signed and immediately retired.  Seems weird.  Either way, I think we will see some waiver claims here at the end of camp.  Don’t they have to??

Defense:

DE (5):

Locks:  Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise, John Simon, Chase Winovich

In:  Derek Rivers

Out: Keionta Davis

Way Out:  Nick Thurman

Comments:  Fairly cut and dried here, though Davis was a favorite at times last year.  Think Rivers gets one more year after one year of being hurt and one year of being nondescript.  But with some of the linebackers rushing, never know if he gets phased out like Davis.

DT (4):

Locks:  Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Mike Pennel

In:  Byron Cowart

Out:  Ufomba Kamalu, David Parry, Danny Shelton

Way Out:  Trent Harris

Comments:  I made a joke about Shelton still being available when I did the roster projection in the spring.  I guess the joke is on us that they did actually sign him.  He’s been kind of useless.  The bigger joke will be when he makes the squad over Cowart, who they will inevitably attempt to get on the practice squad.  I can see this happening.

LB (5):

Locks:  Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts

In:  None

Out:  Christian Sam

Way Out:  Shilique Calhoun, Terez Hall, Calvin Munson

Comments:  Roberts won’t go away.  Pretty obvious the rest of them.  Well, I saw another dudes’ projection that had Calhoun making it.  So I guess I should watch his reps more closely during the preseason games.

CB (7):

Locks:  Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Duke Dawson, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams

In:  Keion Crossen

Out:  Ken Webster

Way Out:  D’Angelo Ross

Comments:  This is a lot to carry at corner.  Perhaps Jones plays some safety, as he did in the Super Bowl.  Or perhaps Crossen gets cut.  But hard to believe after the way they tried to integrate him at times last year.  Maybe one gets traded…but which one?  Have a feeling they go heavy here though.

S (3):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon

In:  None

Out:  Obi Melifonwu

Way Out:  Malik Gant, A.J. Howard

Comments:  I don’t see any other options here.  Again, think some of the corners and perhaps special teamers provide depth here, for better or worse.

Specialists (8):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Jake Bailey (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Nate Ebner (ST), Brandon King (ST), Brandon Bolden (ST), Terrance Brooks (ST)

In:  None

Out:  Ryan Allen (P)

Way Out:  None

Comments:  Drafting a punter in the fifth round seemed to make that decision easy.  Bill loves his special teamers.  I don’t think there is anything else to discuss here.

Let the games begin!!

Takin’ A Stab…

…so while the Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins presumably wrap up their current playoff series’ this coming week, one way or the other, and me waiting to comment more on them until after they are complete, we thought we could stuff a New England Patriot roster projection right in the middle of all that to pass the time.

How’s that for a run-on sentence?!

Oh and the Red Sox?  They seem to be rounding back into form.  But then they will probably lose the upcoming series to the Orioles.  So let’s push them off for a bit as well.

In any event, projections don’t really mean much, especially at this time of year.  But we certainly do love to do them.  Even better once all the draft picks and other nobodies fill up the 90-man roster without anyone ever seeing (or really, hearing) what they are doing in practices over the spring/summer.  So let’s get right to it:

Offense:

QB (3):

Locks:  Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham

In:  Brian Hoyer

Out:  Danny Etling

Way Out:  None

Comments:  Stidham would have to be really atrocious all spring and summer for him not to stick.  Hoyer’s 3 mil cap hit is stupid, but he will be around for insurance for one more year.  Could they cut him and leave him “on call”?  Perhaps.  But I don’t see it playing out that way.  Unless Stidham is the real deal.  Some people have been pointing out that the Pats did keep 4 quarterbacks one year of the Belichick regime.  But that 4th QB was Brady.  Etling is…and will not…be Brady.  Plus if they thought he could be they would have kept him on the roster last year.

RB (5):

Locks:  Rex Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel, Damien Harris, James Develin (FB)

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  Nick Brossette, Jakob Johnson (FB)

Comments:  Nothing to see here.  4 dudes from last season and a third rounder from this year.  Good enough.

WR (5):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, N’Keal Harry

In:  Phillip Dorsett, Bruce Ellington, Demaryius Thomas

Out:  Braxton Berrios, Maurice Harris, Damoun Patterson

Way Out:  Ryan Davis, Jakobi Meyers

Suspended:  Josh Gordon

Comments:  Could be the position most in flux.  Edelman and the first rounder Harry are locks of course.  Then what?  The coaches seem to love Dorsett.  Thomas signed for fairly big coin and may start the year on the PUP list, so he likely sticks…unless he turns out to be Chad Ochocinco, Reggie Wayne, Eric Decker, Joey Galloway or the like.  Meaning, he can’t get the offense or is officially done.  Maybe Berrios or Harris beats out Ellington.  Maybe none of the three make it.  There seems to always be some buzz around Berrios, but for now, I’m going with the veteran.  If, for some unknown…and unbelievable…reason Gordon is reinstated, then he gets a spot over everyone but the top two.  Not going to count on that, however.

TE (3):

Locks:  None

In:  Matt LaCosse, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Ryan Izzo

Out:  Stephen Anderson

Way Out:  Andrew Beck

Comments:  Complete turnover.  Worse yet, no Gronk.  In any event, your guess is as good as mine.  LaCosse got signed to a decent deal.  But the club seems to like Izzo and Anderson.  Sefarian-Jenkins may be the guy with the most talent, but who really knows with him?  Rumors of Ben Watson are in the air.  And perhaps Gronk at midseason?  Doubt it.  But it wouldn’t surprise me if none of these guys were here for Opening Night, to be brutally honest.

OL (8):

Locks:  Isaiah Wynn (LT), Joe Thuney (LG), David Andrews (C), Shaq Mason (RG), Marcus Cannon (RT),

In:  Yodny Cajuste (T), Hjalte Froholdt (G), Ted Karras (G/C),

Out:  James Ferentz (C), Brian Schwenke (C), Cole Croston (T)

Way Out:  Calvin Anderson (T), Jake Eldrenkamp (C), Tyler Gauthier (C), Cedrick Lang (T), Dan Skipper (T), Tyree St. Louis (T)

Comments:  On the other hand, this group seems to be fairly set in stone.  If Wynn is healthy, they probably go with him to replace Trent Brown at left tackle.  The other starters are mainstays.  The two fourth rounders would seem to be in, along with Karras who is the backup center.  Maybe an undrafted free agent sneaks in there somewhere since one or five always seem to make the team.  But for now, this seems right.

Defense:

DE (6):

Locks:  Michael Bennett, Deatrich Wise, John Simon, Chase Winovich

In:  Keionta Davis, Derek Rivers

Out:  None

Way Out:  Nick Thurman

Comments:  Bennett goes without saying, but the rest of the group looks to shake out like this.  Wise shows flashes from time to time, Simon re-upped for decent cake and Chase is a third rounder so they all are no brainers.  Think they give Davis and Rivers one more year.  But their spots are anything but safe.

DT (4):

Locks:  Lawrence Guy, Adam Butler, Mike Pennel

In:  Byron Cowart

Out:  Ufomba Kamalu, David Parry

Way Out:  Trent Harris, Frank Herron

Comments:  Wouldn’t shock me if a fifth body made it, but for now looks to be these guys.  Hey, Danny Shelton is apparently available!  Ugh…

LB (4):

Locks:  Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Ja’Whaun Bentley, Elandon Roberts

In:  None

Out:  Christian Sam

Way Out:  Shilique Calhoun, Terez Hall, Calvin Munson

Comments:  Looks like Hightower’s high cap number is irrelevant to the team.  Roberts still stinks, but they love him.  Sam is still on the outside looking in.  May be a place where any of the last three players could sneak in with a big camp.  But maybe I just wanted to say the word “Shilique” again?

CB (7):

Locks:  Stephon Gilmore, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Duke Dawson, Jason McCourty, Joejuan Williams

In:  Keion Crossen

Out:  Ken Webster

Way Out:  D’Angelo Ross

Comments:  Loaded.  McCourty signed a pretty pricy 2 year deal, so he’s firmly in, as opposed to last year where he was firmly on the bubble.  Hard to believe they would cut bait with Dawson after lugging him around all last year.  Williams’ second round status this year locks him in.  Crossen could be in trouble, but he supposedly showed well last year, we don’t believe they would just toss him by the wayside at this point.  Jones played plenty of safety in the Super Bowl, so maybe that’s part of next seasons’ plan?

S (3):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon

In:  None

Out:  Obi Melifonwu

Way Out:  Malik Gant, A.J. Howard

Comments:  Harmon makes too much money (as does Devin, for that matter), but I don’t see them jettisoning him.  Some of the corners and special teamers can back up here, in my opinion.

Specialists (8):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Jake Bailey (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Nate Ebner (ST), Brandon King (ST), Brandon Bolden (ST), Terrance Brooks (ST)

In:  None

Out:  Ryan Allen (P)

Way Out:  None

Comments:  A hunch on the punter.  Allen has been serviceable since he has been here.  And he had a helluva Super Bowl!  But they tried to replace him last year pretty much, by getting a dude with a big leg, trying to “hide” said dude by not punting him the entire preseason, yet he still was claimed by Buffalo at final cuts when they tried to get him through waivers to the practice squad.  Now they DRAFT one in the fifth round?  And Allen only signed for one year because “that’s what he (Allen) wanted”?  Seems like the writing is on the wall here.  The rest of the specialists…it’s almost like they have tenure here.  Yeah, Bolden left for a year, but you know Bill loves him.  And Brooks is new, but he was a kind of a “priority signing” if you will.

Final comments:  Yup, that’s 56 guys for a 53 man roster!!  I can add, I swear!  I thought it was pretty good narrowing things down as I went along position by position in order though.  I didn’t go back and adjust, because…I don’t have any real answers.  There will be injuries.  And trades.  That will pare things down.

But for the sake of accuracy, the three I would remove from above to have an actual 53-man projection would be both Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers at defensive end, to be honest.  They can move some linebackers around to cover the edge.  And it’s not like those guys have stood out in any way.  For the last cut, I considered Crossen, Hoyer (as discussed above), Ellington or one of the TEs.  But I’m taking the easy way out and putting Demaryius Thomas officially on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.

I can do what I want I guess…but a lot can happen from now until September of course.  So again, this doesn’t really mean all that much in the end…

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