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Patriots roster projection, v1.1

So I’ve been seriously slacking at this address lately.  It’s summer!  But…trying to get back on the horse.  New England Patriots preseason football starts tonight, so no better time to do it than now.  I had previously made a roster projection in early May, shortly after the draft.  Ergo, version 1.1 here.

There are 91 guys on the roster at this point.  At least that is my count.  Yup, there is only supposed to be 90.  But they have an exemption for U.S. Olympian rugby player (and safety) Nate Ebner.  Not sure when he is coming back, but I am keeping him in that status for now.  Plus, we all know Tom Brady is suspended for the first 4 games.  So instead of taking 53 guys for the final roster, I am taking 55.  Since the preseason PUP list is in effect, I’ll consider the regular season PUP list.  No practice squad or other lists at this time.  Sorry!  Let’s get to it…

QB (3):

Locks:  Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett

In:  None

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

Suspended:  Tom Brady

Only change from v1 is Brady’s official suspension.  People are clamoring to add a veteran here.  I don’t see it, unless Jimmy Football and Brissett show complete incompetence in the preseason.  Or there is an injury.  But remember 2008?  Matt Cassel was absolutely inept in the preseason and then went 11-5 during the regular season.  These two need all the reps they can get and I think they will get them.  No sense in adding a vet unless there is an emergency.

RB (5):

Locks:  Brandon Bolden

In:  James White, James Develin, LeGarrette Blount, Tyler Gaffney

Out:  Donald Brown, Joey Iosefa, D.J. Foster

Way Out:  None

PUP:  Dion Lewis

Only change is the PUP for Lewis that creates a spot for Gaffney.  I have a feeling about Gaffney.  Not that he will be any good.  But the fact that they have kept him around so long.  I feel like he will get an opportunity because this is his 3rd year here.  Especially with no one else really standing out.  Bolden is only a lock because of special teams.  I have never been a huge White fan, but no one is pushing him.  Foster may have, but he has been hurt.  He could end up as an IR stash.  Brown has been hurt as well.  Don’t love Blount, but Belichick does.  All is quiet on Lewis’ status.  I’m going to assume they play it safe with him.  Still extremely hard to project where they will go here.

WR (4):

Locks:  Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell

In:  Keshawn Martin

Out:  Chris Harper, Aaron Dobson, Nate Washington, Devin Lucien

Way Out:  DeAndre Carter

PUP:  Danny Amendola

Only change is DA to PUP.  Similar to Lewis, haven’t heard a ton on Amendola.  I personally would’ve started both Danny and Edelman on the PUP and “saved” them for the latter part of the season.  Since, you know, they both get hurt a lot.  But as Bill would say, “football players play”.  So we have Julian active.  Of course, Jimmy G needs people to throw to I guess.  Anyway, if they start Amendola on PUP, that could create a spot for, gulp, another Aaron Dobson stint.  I’m hoping not.  Nate Washington could’ve snuck in here too.  But it doesn’t reflect well when you vomit on the first day of camp and aren’t heard from since.

TE (3):

Locks:  Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett

In:  Clay Harbor

Out:  Bear Pascoe, A.J. Derby

Way Out:  Bryce Williams, Steven Scheu

No changes to the active roster.  As for the guys cut, my biggest disappointment I think is that De’Runnya Wilson was never actually signed.  He was “way out” on my first projection, but it appears he really was “way, way, way out”.  Bryce Williams and Bear Pascoe have been subsequently signed instead, but methinks they are just camp bodies.  Hoping Gronk doesn’t play at all in the preseason and Bennett plays very little.  Michael Williams may have been my 3rd TE, but he ended up on IR with a torn ACL instead.  Derby has made some noise in camp, but not sure at this point it’s enough to unseat Harbor.  Seems like a good practice squad guy.

OL (9):

Locks:  Nate Solder (LT), Bryan Stork (C), Shaq Mason (G), Joe Thuney (G), David Andrews (C)

In:  LaAdrian Waddle (T), Marcus Cannon (T), Jonathan Cooper (G), Josh Kline (G/C)

Out:  Chris Barker (G), Cameron Fleming (T), Ted Karras (G)

Way Out:  Keavon Milton (G), Kyler Kerbyson (T), Jon Halapio (G)

PUP:  Sebastian Vollmer (RT), Tre’ Jackson (G)

Lots of moving pieces here.  Kerbyson and 2015 6th rounder Halapio have been signed since the last projection…but that hardly matters.  I can’t tell if Jackson is still on the preseason PUP.  But I know Vollmer is.  Leaving them there for now, since things have been quiet, especially on the big German.  Andrews and Waddle switch places, but they both make it anyway.  Kline gets back on the roster.  Cooper has been hurt and maybe he ends up on IR, giving Dante Scarnecchia and the organization a year to try to tap into his potential as a former #7 overall pick.  Right now, Thuney and Mason are the top guards, but that can change in a heartbeat.  Fleming and Barker have been fringe depth for a few years now.  Karras may be ticketed for the practice squad.  Long way to go before this settles.

DE (5):

Locks:  Chris Long, Rob Ninkovich, Jabaal Sheard, Geneo Grissom

In:  Trey Flowers

Out:  Frank Kearse

Way Out:  None

Ninkovich should end up on the “short-term IR, designated to return” list with his torn triceps.  But he can’t be placed there until after the original 53-man roster is set.  Made me add Flowers back in and make Grissom a lock now though.

DT (5):

Locks:  Alan Branch, Malcolm Brown, Terrance Knighton, Vincent Valentine

In:  Marcus Kuhn

Out:  Joe Vellano

Way Out:  Woodrow Hamilton, Anthony Johnson

Not much difference here from May.  Kuhn seems to be getting a lot of run in camp, so I am putting him on.  Anthony Johnson was signed over the summer, but not sure that affects anything.  Not much to talk about otherwise.

LB (5):

Locks:  Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Shea McLellin

In:  Jonathan Freeny, Ramon Humber

Out:  Rufus Johnson, Elandon Roberts, Kevin Snyder

Way Out:  None

No changes with the guys who make the team.  Jon Bostic was traded and Tony Steward was cut.  I don’t know what happened to C.J. Johnson, but I don’t think anyone cares.  I moved Kamu Grugier-Hill to another position…because I can.  No one is holding out.  No one is hurt…yet.  Let’s just leave it at that.

CB (5):

Locks:  Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Cyrus Jones

In:  Justin Coleman, Darryl Roberts

Out:  E.J. Biggers, Jonathan Jones,

Way Out:  V’Angelo Bentley, Cre’Von LeBlanc

Roberts was the last guy I added to the roster.  He may lose his spot if Ebner is back.  Since he was a 7th rounder in 2015 and was on IR all last year, they may be able to stash him on the practice squad anyway.  Moved Jones from “Way out” to “Out”, but I may be the only one that cares about that.  I’ve heard his name mentioned a bit in camp and that’s why I did it.  If you do happen to care, that is…

S (4):

Locks:  Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Jordan Richards

In:  None

Out:  Brock Vereen, Vinnie Sunseri

Way Out:  Cedric Thompson

Sunseri was a summer signee, but seems to be another fringe guy.  Devonta Burns was another guy that apparently supposedly signed after the draft but didn’t (like my pal De’Runnya…yup, just looking for a way to say the name again!)…so he’s gone.  Pretty cut and dried here.

Specialists (7):

Locks:  Stephen Gostkowski (K), Ryan Allen (P), Joe Cardona (LS), Matthew Slater (ST), Brandon King (ST)

In: Kamu Grugier-Hill (ST)

Out:  None

Way Out:  None

Exempt:  Nate Ebner (ST)

Seven specialists you say?!  Yup.  Slater, King and Ebner have rarely played their listed positions during their careers.  With Grugier-Hill seemingly on all four special teams units, it appears that will be the case with him too.  Cardona apparently will be able to play the season instead of “playing” for the U.S. Navy, so no need for a second long-snapper in Christian Yount.  So he was jettisoned a bit ago.  Nothing else exciting going on here.

That’ll do it for now.  Happy that football is starting.  Though it’s kind of a bummer that summer will be winding down.  Oh well.  At least there should be some actual football played tonight.  As opposed to the Hall of Fame Game that was supposed to be played this past Sunday.  Don’t get me going on that…

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