After the New England Patriots made their first 10 cuts today, trimming their roster down to 65 players, there were two names let go that should immediately stick out to Patriots’ fans.
Those players are Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard. Now that the team sent both players packing, they have only three TEs left on the current roster: Zach Sudfeld, Michael Hoomanawanui and Rob Gronkowski.
With the expectation that Gronkowski will miss the first few weeks, that will leave the team with only two active tight ends at the start of the season.
If he were to either suffer a setback in his recovery, or re-injure himself when he comes back, the team would be left with very few options to fill in for him. If you still had Fells and Ballard, you would have more bodies to fill the void.
Although he has looked impressive, Sudfeld is still a rookie who may have some bumps in the road as he masters the NFL game.
As for Hooman, he is a guy that has produced minimally in the passing game over his career. He should not be trusted to be a big offensive producer because of this.
With these cuts, you can tell that he Patriots are clearly moving away from their philosophy of heavy reliance on the tight end position. They will now have to invest their future in the rookie receivers as a result.
As far as I’m concerned, releasing both tight ends is a huge risk that has a legitimate chance to blow up in the team’s face. Only time will tell, but the team certainly appears thin at the position at this point in time.