The Patriots announced their initial roster for the 2010 regular season Saturday night, and it was absent of a few big names who were among the last round of cuts.
Linebackers Derrick Burgess, Pierre Woods and Eric Alexander were all released. Wide receiver Sam Aiken, who was the Patriots' special teams captain in 2009, was also among the last 20 players who were chopped from the roster.
Safety Brandon McGowan, who excelled covering big-name tight ends, was placed on season-ending injured reserve with a chest injury.
The Patriots also acquired two players via trade — safety Jarrad Page from the Chiefs, and linebacker Tracy White from the Eagles.
Like underdogs? A few of them made the roster, including defensive lineman Kyle Love, linebacker Dane Fletcher and wide receiver Matthew Slater, who missed all but one practice of training camp with a calf injury.
Keep in mind there will continue to be a flurry of roster moves throughout the league over the next few days. More trades are expected, and players are always claimed off waivers, so the players on the roster bubble aren’t completely safe just yet.
With that, here's a positional breakdown of the Patriots' initial roster.
Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer
Note: Brady completed 37-of-50 passes (74 percent) for 476 yards, five touchdowns and one interception in the preseason.
Offensive Line (9)
Matt Light, Dan Koppen, Stephen Neal, Sebastian Vollmer, Dan Connolly, Mark LeVoir, Ryan Wendell, Nick Kaczur, Quinn Ojinnaka*
Note: There could definitely still be some movement with this position. It would actually be surprising if the Patriots didn’t add another lineman.
*Ojinnaka won't count against the 53-man roster limit during Week 1 because of his one-game, league-mandated suspension.
Running backs (5)
Laurence Maroney, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Note: All that speculation for nothing. The Patriots kept the same five backs from last season.
Wide Receivers (6)
Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Taylor Price, Matthew Slater
Note: Wondering if Slater could get voted as the special teams captain.
Tight ends (3)
Rob Gronkowski, Alge Crumpler, Aaron Hernandez
Note: Rookies Gronkowski and Hernandez combined for 15 catches, 181 yards and five touchdowns in the preseason.
Defensive Linemen (7)
Vince Wilfork, Mike Wright, Gerard Warren, Myron Pryor, Brandon Deaderick, Ron Brace, Kyle Love
Note: Former Patriots defensive end Jarvis Green was released by the Broncos, and he could be a good fit to reunite with New England. However, Green left because he wanted more playing time, so he'll likely still be interested in finding a starting role if one is available somewhere else.
Jerod Mayo, Tully Banta-Cain, Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton, Tyrone McKenzie, Jermaine Cunningham, Rob Ninkovich, Tracy White, Dane Fletcher, Marques Murrell
Note: White is a special teams maven who won't play much on defense.
Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite, Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Terrence Wheatley
Note: Butler and McCourty are the future, but they're of the utmost importance in the present.
Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Patrick Chung, Jarrad Page
Note: Page, a 2006 seventh-round pick out of UCLA, was holding out in Kansas City until this week. Reports out of K.C. indicated the Chiefs were eager to move on without him.
Note: Good summer for Gostkowski? Yeah, you could say that.
Note: Mesko averaged 41.7 yards on 18 punts in the preseason, and eight attempts were downed inside the 20-yard line.
Long Snapper (1)
Note: Ingram's good friend, Ninkovich, did not wind up stealing his job.