The New England Patriots dropped a player on Friday, but it’s not who most expected it would be. The Pats have elected to keep Alfonzo Dennard after his latest arrest for suspicion of DUI, and instead to cut wide receiver Donald Jones.
After spending the first three seasons of his career with the Buffalo Bills, the Patriots signed Jones to a three-year deal this past spring. However, none of the money was guaranteed. Reports suggest that the reason New England dropped the seemingly bright young receiver, is because of the team’s renewed focus on youth, specifically with Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce.
At the same time they were cutting Jones on Friday, the Patriots also signed rookie receivers Perez Ashford and Quentin Sims.
So it appears that this is the way the Patriots are going to continue to run things. We saw them reach out into the free agent market quite a bit this past spring and that’s not usually their MO. But this year was different, because they had to do something about the departures of Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd.
If you take one look up and down the Patriots’ depth chart at WR, it’s mostly an unrecognizable group. The 2013 receiving corps is no doubt the next generation. Danny Amendola will head up that group, and he’ll be expected to become the new Welker, whether it’s fair or not.
As the Patriots get ready for training camp it’s clear that they want these young players getting as many reps as possible. New England is known for creating players and that all starts in the offseason. While these young players might be no-names at the moment, by mid-season, you’ll know who they are. Because let’s face it, the Patriots don’t rebuild, they reload.
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