By Will Gellman @Will_Gellman on June 6, 2014
There are several veteran players with a lot riding on this offseason. How they fare in the preseason and training camp will ultimately determine whether they can keep a spot on the New England Patriots' roster in 2014. The following five players may come up short in their attempts to do just that.
Ryan Mallett has perhaps the most to gain or lose in 2014. He is in a contract year, and the Patriots drafted Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round of the NFL draft this past May. The Patriots probably won't carry three quarterbacks on their roster, and they may look to field offers for Mallett in the preseason. Right now, it appears unlikely that he will be on the team's 53-man roster when the time comes.
Tavon Wilson also has a lot riding on this offseason. A second round pick in the 2012 NFL draft, he has lived up to the billing of a guy the Patriots reached on way too high. He has not shown nearly enough in his first two years to warrant significant playing time. With Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung and maybe even Logan Ryan (although he has worked as a CB during OTA's) ahead of him on the depth chart, his days in New England could be numbered.
Jake Bequette's future in Foxboro will likely come down to a numbers game. He has shown next to nothing so far on the field, and the Patriots have loaded up on pass rushers in recent weeks and months. With Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich locks to start, and with Will Smith, rookie Zach Moore and Michael Buchanan battling with him for spots on the roster, Bequette will probably be playing elsewhere in 2014.
Brandon Bolden is perhaps the best player that could be on the chopping block for the Patriots this offseason. Unfortunately, he faces an uphill battle to make the roster. With Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley virtual locks to make the team, Bolden will have to beat out rookie draftee James White and undrafted free agents Stephen Houston and Roy Finch. Bolden must stay healthy and productive in camp in order to earn a spot on the roster in 2014.
TE D.J. Williams could be on the outside looking in as well. The Patriots signed Michael Hoomanawanui to an extension, Rob Gronkowski will be back at some point this season, and the team brought in two high-upside UDFA's in Justin Jones and Asa Watson to fill the position. The Patriots probably won't carry five TEs on their roster, and D.J. may be the odd man out in this case.
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