Who’s On Patriots Roster’ Bubble Entering Final Week Of Preseason?

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The New England Patriots’ 2019 season is officially less than two weeks away, and they have some very difficult decisions to make in the next four days.

The Patriots’ final preseason game Thursday will give some clarity to how the Patriots view their roster. Those who are guaranteed spots will be held out and those on the bubble will get one final look.

In anticipation of the preseason finale and ensuing roster cuts, we’ve divided the Patriots’ roster into four categories: stone-cold locks, very near-locks, bubble and longshots.

We would be flabbergasted if any of these stone-cold locks are cut on or before Aug. 31:

STONE-COLD LOCKS (32)
QB Tom Brady
QB Jarrett Stidham
RB Rex Burkhead
RB Damien Harris
RB Sony Michel
RB James White
FB James Develin
WR Julian Edelman
WR N’Keal Harry
WR Matthew Slater
OT Isaiah Wynn
OT Marcus Cannon
G Joe Thuney
G Shaq Mason
C David Andrews*
OL Hjalte Froholdt
DE Michael Bennett
DT Lawrence Guy
DT Danny Shelton
OLB Chase Winovich
LB Kyle Van Noy
LB Dont’a Hightower
CB Stephon Gilmore
CB JC Jackson
CB Jonathan Jones
CB Jason McCourty
CB Joejuan Williams
S Devin McCourty
S Patrick Chung
K Stephen Gostkowski
P Jake Bailey
LS Joe Cardona

— Shelton and Jackson were our toughest inclusions. Ultimately, they’re a step above the next category.

*Andrews reportedly could miss the season with a blood clot in his lungs. If he makes the Patriots’ initial roster, he could be brought back after Week 8. If he’s placed on injured reserve at Saturday’s cutdown, then he would be out for the year.

We are very confident our very near-locks will be on the roster Week 1, but we wouldn’t bet the house:

VERY NEAR-LOCKS (14)
RB Brandon Bolden
WR Josh Gordon
WR Jakobi Meyers
TE Ryan Izzo
TE Ben Watson (suspended)
OL Ted Karras
DT Adam Butler
DT Byron Cowart
OLB John Simon
LB Ja’Whaun Bentley
LB Jamie Collins
S Terrence Brooks
S Nate Ebner
S Duron Harmon

— Gordon is on here because he’s such a question mark. What’s to say something doesn’t happen in the next four days?

— It would actually cost the Patriots cap space to cut Bolden. They did it last year albeit when he was in a much different situation contractually. That’s why he’s on here.

— We’re almost certain Bentley will be on the roster, but that inside linebacker position is deep which gives us pause.

— Collins is on here because he played Week 1 of the preseason while other roster locks didn’t.

That realistically leaves eight or nine spots open (accounting for Watson’s suspension and depending on Andrews’ situation) for the following players:

BUBBLE (25)
QB Brian Hoyer
FB Andrew Beck
WR Braxton Berrios
WR Phillip Dorsett
WR Gunner Olszewski
WR Demaryius Thomas
TE Stephen Anderson
TE Matt LaCosse
TE Lance Kendricks (suspended)
TE Eric Saubert
OT Cole Croston
OL James Ferentz
OL Tyler Gauthier
OT Dan Skipper
OT Tyree St. Louis
DE Deatrich Wise
DT David Parry
OLB Shilique Calhoun
OLB Derek Rivers
LB Calvin Munson
LB Elandon Roberts
CB Keion Crossen
CB Duke Dawson
CB Ken Webster
S Obi Melifonwu

— This is the group we’ll be watching closest Thursday night. If any of these players stay on the sideline, they’re almost certainly making the 53-man roster. If they play, then it means the Patriots need another look.

— We believe Wise, Roberts and maybe Dawson could be traded since the Patriots are deep at linebacker, cornerback and on their defensive line.

— We’d give the final eight spots to Hoyer, Dorsett, Thomas, LaCosse, Croston, Calhoun, Roberts and Crossen and trade Wise. If Andrews is placed on IR at cutdowns, then we’d put Gauthier on the roster, as well.

We’d be shocked if any of these 13 players made the initial 53-man roster:

LONGSHOTS
RB Nick Brossette
FB Jakob Johnson
WR Ryan Davis
WR Damoun Patterson
OT Martez Ivey
OT Cedrick Lang
DE Ufomba Kamalu
DT Nick Thurman
OLB Trent Harris
LB Terez Hall
LB Christian Sam
LB Scooby Wright
S Malik Gant
S A.J. Howard

— Johnson belongs in a different category since the Patriots can use an additional 11th spot on the practice squad to keep him around as an international pathway program player.

Expect these players to start the season on the reserve lists. They’ll be eligible to return in Week 7.

PUP/NFI (2)
WR Cameron Meredith
OT Yodny Cajuste

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