By Connor Fulton @ConnorFultonRS on August 25, 2014
The New England Patriots will be handing down the first round of cuts on Tuesday. Let’s take a look at ten players who are doomed to be cut, if not in the initial wave, then by the end of the month.
Rookies James White and Roy Finch will nudge out Bolden for the fourth and final spot in the Patriots’ backfield. Although Finch is both undrafted and diminutive, he offers more versatility, as he brings a spark in the kick return game. Meanwhile, White stands to take Bolden’s share of the carries in the ground game.
Gray is currently in a battle for that last running back spot, but like Bolden, he will be edged by Finch. Gray has shown very well this preseason, however, and should land on the practice squad and could be called up at some point.
While Devey has impressed this month, he faces an uphill battle at the tackle position. Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer are locked in as the starters, with veteran Marcus Cannon and promising, brainy rookie Cameron Fleming providing depth at the position.
Like Devey, Halapio stands to be the odd man out in a crowded offensive linemen competition. With Logan Mankins and Dan Connolly entrenched as starters, and Josh Kline poised for backup duty, the Florida product is unlikely to even make it past first cuts on Tuesday.
Bequette didn’t deliver in his rookie season, and hasn’t showed much improvement over the offseason. Rookie Zach Moore and newcomer Jerel Worthy are likely to push Bequette off the roster sooner rather than later.
The arrival of first-round pick Dominique Easley puts a serious damper on Jones’ chances of making the final roster. For better or for worse, Jones was one of the poster boys of the Patriots’ struggles on run defense last year.
Despite multiple ACL injuries to the same knee, third-year veteran Darius Fleming appears to have made the team. Similarly, Ja’Gared Davis has shown better than White this month and he should be Jerod Mayo’s backup at middle linebacker instead of White.
A sixth rounder in May’s draft, Thomas has felt the squeeze of the team’s loaded secondary. The prospect of playing cornerback quickly diminished with Malcolm Butler’s ascension, leaving Thomas in a thick competition at safety. He’ll be on the practice squad and could grow into a valuable depth player.
The interception specialist has barely touched the field this preseason, and has also been overtaken by Butler on the depth chart at cornerback. However, Swanson should find himself in the practice squad and could have a shot to play in the regular season if the secondary catches the injury bug.
Mallett will miss out on the final roster for one of two reasons. The Patriots could very well trade him, probably to the St. Louis Rams, in the near future. Or, they will decide to keep only two quarterbacks, in which case Mallett will be let go because Garoppolo is the future of the franchise.
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