Sanu’s release was the first domino to fall before this weekend’s roster cuts which will see the Patriots slice and dice their roster from 80 players to 53.
Here’s our latest and final guess at how the Patriots’ initial roster will look after those roster cuts.
Brian Hoyer, Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham
It’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that the Patriots will keep just two quarterbacks, but New England can afford to keep all three since it’s easy enough to make cuts elsewhere.
RUNNING BACK (5)
Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Sony Michel, James White, Lamar Miller
With news that Damien Harris could miss the beginning of the season with a hand injury, Lamar Miller makes the team. We were 50-50 on Miller before the extent of Harris’ injury was known.
WIDE RECEIVER (7)
Damiere Byrd, Julian Edelman, N?Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, Matthew Slater, Jeff Thomas
The Patriots cut Sanu on Wednesday, opening up room for Meyers and Thomas to make the cut. Even if Thomas doesn’t contribute right away, he’s a player worth developing. The Patriots might be able to slip him through waivers and onto their practice squad.
This group also might not be complete. The Patriots should look to add another wide receiver before Week 1.
TIGHT END (3)
Devin Asiasi, FB Jakob Johnson, Dalton Keene
The Patriots need to add another tight end through trade or waivers.
OFFENSIVE LINE (8)
David Andrews, Yodny Cajuste, Jermaine Eluemunor, Hjalte Froholdt, Shaq Mason, Michael Onwenu, Joe Thuney, Isaiah Wynn
The Patriots also need another offensive tackle to serve as a swing option behind Wynn and Eluemunor. Cajuste and Korey Cunningham, a player we’re cutting, aren’t enough.
DEFENSIVE LINE (5)
Beau Allen, Adam Butler, Byron Cowart, Lawrence Guy, Deatrich Wise
Allen missed all of training camp, but the Patriots don’t really have another option at nose tackle. Xavier Williams, Nick Thurman, Michael Barnett and Bill Murray failed to stick out in practices open to the media.
Ja?Whaun Bentley, Shilique Calhoun, Brandon Copeland, Anfernee Jennings, Caash Maluia, John Simon, Josh Uche, Chase Winovich
PUP: Brandon King
There’s essentially an even chance that Maluia, Terez Hall, Derek Rivers or Rashod Berry makes the 53-man roster. We’ll stick with Maluia, who could wind up having the greatest impact of any of those players on special teams.
Justin Bethel, Stephon Gilmore, JC Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Jason McCourty
Mike Jackson and D’Angelo Ross were solid in training camp, but this is a tough, talented group to crack.
Terrence Brooks, Cody Davis, Kyle Dugger, Devin McCourty, Adrian Phillips, Joejuan Williams
Williams can also play cornerback. It feels like one of Brooks, Davis or Phillips could be on the outside looking in, but it’s difficult to predict which player would be cut.
We’ll keep all three, but if the Patriots are looking to release a player for a day to put someone else on injured reserve, then this is a spot to watch.
SPECIAL TEAMS (3)
P Jake Bailey, LS Joe Cardona, K Nick Folk
Folk in, Rohrwasser out.
Photo via New England Patriots