It’s cutdown weekend in the NFL. The New England Patriots must whittle their roster from 90 players to 53 by 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Below is a running tracker of each Patriots transaction as their Week 1 roster begins to take shape, beginning with the most recent move. For an up-to-the-minute look at that roster, click here.
— The Patriots’ initial 53-man roster has been finalized. Click here for a full list of roster cuts.
— Four more cuts:
— Here’s a surprise:
Thomas might not be gone for long, though.
That likely means the Patriots plan on placing a player who makes their initial 53-man roster on injured reserve, at which point they would re-sign Thomas. Players must be on the initial 53 in order to return from IR during the season. Ones who are placed on IR on or before cutdown day are done for the year.
The Patriots did just that with center David Andrews (blood clots) and defensive end Derek Rivers (undisclosed), according to reports from ESPN’s Mike Reiss and Field Yates. Both will be ineligible to play this season.
New England’s trade for experienced center Russell Bodine on Friday portended Andrews’ fate. For Rivers, this will be his second lost season in three years.
Wide receiver Cameron Meredith also will begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, per Yates. He will be eligible to return in Week 7.
— The Patriots waived running back Nick Brossette, a source told Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Brossett saw plenty of playing time in the preseason, but running back is one of New England’s deepest positions.
— In a stunning turn of events, receiver/return man Gunner Olszewski has made the Patriots’ roster, and cornerback Keion Crossen has been traded to the Houston Texans.
Read more about those moves here.
— The Patriots have waived undrafted rookie linebacker Terez Hall, a source told Nick Underhill of The Athletic.
— In the most significant move of the weekend so far, the Patriots have cut veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer, making rookie Jarett Stidham their new top backup behind Tom Brady. They’ll enter the season with just two QBs on their 53-man roster for the eighth consecutive season.
— Linebacker Scooby Wright, who tallied two sacks in his lone preseason appearance for the Patriots, has been waived, per Doug Kyed.
— The Patriots have cut defensive tackle Nick Thurman, per Doug Kyed. He’s another player who could stick around on the practice squad.
— Per Doug Kyed, the Patriots waived Dan Skipper, who spent much of the summer as the first-team left tackle while Isaiah Wynn recovered from his torn Achilles. The trade for Korey Cunningham this week made Skipper expendable.
— Despite his best efforts, Gunner Olszewski will not be on the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster. New England waived the converted Division II cornerback, a source told Doug Kyed.
Olszewski played wide receiver and returned kicks and punts throughout the preseason and even served as an injury replacement at corner in the Patriots’ preseason finale.
Given the promise he showed as a punt returner and the praise he received from Bill Belichick, some speculated New England could carry him on the roster to lessen Julian Edelman’s workload. Now, Olszewski likely is bound for the practice squad unless another team claims him off waivers.
— Calvin Munson’s bid for a roster spot was unsuccessful. The Patriots have released the 24-year-old linebacker, a source told Jeff Howe of The Athletic.
Munson played well in the preseason, leading the team with 16 tackles, and his chances of sticking on the 53-man roster increased once Brandon King was lost for the season with a torn quad. Ultimately, though, New England opted to move in a different direction. As Howe noted, he’d be an ideal practice squad candidate.
— The Patriots cut tight end Eric Saubert after acquiring him early in the preseason, a source told Nick Underhill of The Athletic.
They’re now down to just two tight ends who are available for Week 1: Ryan Izzo and Matt LaCosse. Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks are facing four- and one-game suspensions, respectively.
New England could look to bolster this position group via trade or waiver-wire pickup before next Sunday’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
— Per Doug Kyed, the Patriots are releasing two players who spent time on the 53-man roster last season: tight end Stephen Anderson and defensive lineman Ufomba Kamalu.
Given the questionable state of the Patriots’ tight end group, it would make sense to keep Stephen Anderson around on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
— The Patriots are waiving slot receiver Braxton Berrios, a source told NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Berrios had plenty of opportunities during training camp but was unable to create separation on a consistent basis. Missing the Patriots’ third preseason game with an injury all but sealed his fate. He played just 10 offensive snaps against the Giants.
— Before Saturday’s roster cuts start rolling in, here’s a quick rundown of the transactions the Patriots reportedly made Friday:
TE/FB Andrew Beck
OL Tyree St. Louis
OT Cedrick Lang
DT David Parry
WR Ryan Davis
S A.J. Howard
OL Tyler Gauthier
WR Damoun Patterson
OL Martez Ivey
LB Christian Sam
CB Duke Dawson
Acquired via trade:
C Russell Bodine
Note: Only the trades appeared on the NFL’s official transaction wire Friday. The cuts have yet to be announced by the team.
— The Patriots cut receiver Damoun Patterson (per Doug Kyed), offensive lineman Martez Ivey and linebacker Christian Sam (per Nick Underhill on The Athletic).
— Both Patriots trades — Duke Dawson and a 2020 seventh-round pick for a 2020 sixth-rounder, and a 2020 sixth-rounder for Russell Bodine — appeared on the NFL’s transaction wire Friday afternoon. The releases have not been made official.
— Another O-lineman down: The Patriots are waiving center Tyler Gauthier, a source told Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal. He joins Cedrick Lang and Tyree St. Louis on the waiver wire.
— The Patriots are plowing through their expected roster cuts. Safety A.J. Howard has been waived, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.
Howard, who joined the Patriots’ practice squad late last season, had no shot of sticking in New England’s veteran-laden safety group.
— Wide receiver Ryan Davis has been released, a source told Nick Underhill of The Athletic. The undrafted rookie was near the bottom of the depth chart all summer.
— The Patriots have released nose tackle David Parry, a source told Nick Underhill of The Athletic.
Parry played well in the preseason, and his chances of cracking the roster increased following Mike Pennel’s release, but he ultimately fell short. He’s been in the NFL since 2015 but does still have practice squad eligibility. Keeping him around as insurance behind Danny Shelton could be a smart play if he clears waivers.
— Offensive tackle Cedrick Lang also is gone, a source told Doug Kyed.
— The Patriots have cut undrafted rookie O-lineman Tyree St. Louis, a source told NESN.com’s Doug Kyed.
— The Patriots reportedly are waiving tight end Andrew Beck, who played fullback throughout the preseason. Beck was New England’s highest-paid undrafted rookie with $100,000 of his salary guaranteed.
— It’s not all subtractions for the Patriots this weekend. They’ve reportedly swung a trade for Buffalo Bills center Russell Bodine, who’s started every game he’s played in (74 in all) since he entered the NFL in 2014.
It’ll be interesting to see how this affects Ted Karras, who was expected to start at center while David Andrews recovers from his hospitalization for blood clots. Andrews is expected to miss significant time, and this move seems to suggest he might not play this season.
Buffalo received a sixth-round pick in return, per reports.
— The Patriots’ first roster move in the wake of their preseason finale wasn’t a cut but a trade. New England dealt cornerback Duke Dawson to the Denver Broncos on Friday morning, according to multiple reports.
New England sent Dawson and a 2020 seventh-round draft pick to Denver for a 2020 sixth-rounder. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the trade.
The Patriots used a second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft on Dawson, but he wound up playing exactly zero regular-season games for the franchise. The Florida product spent the second half of last season as a healthy scratch after coming off injured reserve and couldn’t separate himself in New England’s loaded cornerback room this summer.
Dawson split time between corner and safety Thursday night against the New York Giants, recording an interception off a deflection. He’s the latest in a string of second-round whiffs on defensive backs by the Patriots — a list that also includes Cyrus Jones, Jordan Richards, Tavon Wilson and Ras-I Dowling.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images