The New England Patriots will cut their roster to 75 on Tuesday, leaving many players on the brink. In the past, we have seen coach Bill Belichick cut veteran players, including former NFL MVPs, Pro Bowlers and lifelong Patriots.
This year will likely be no different as fans should expect at least one surprise cut during the next week. Just yesterday, veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly was released by the team, which was somewhat surprising despite some early signs that his spot was not safe. While he entered this preseason coming off a torn ACL, Kelly was one of the few big men remaining on the roster, and was a starter last season before his injury.
The roster cuts on Tuesday will not likely cause turmoil; however, when the final roster is set in little over a week, this is when we should expect to see a drastic move or two. Ryan Mallett is not an overly impressive quarterback, but his spot as backup to Tom Brady has been safe for many seasons. That said, with rookie Jimmy Garoppolo playing so well, the need to have three quarterbacks is becoming less significant each time the Patriots take the field.
A Mallett release may not be a big deal to some, but it would mean that the Patriots are prepared to move forward with Garoppolo as their future prospect.
This is perhaps the most exciting time of the entire preseason. At times, it can be difficult to gauge how talented a team will truly be when the coach is trying to put 90 men on the field in just four quarters. The Patriots’ next preseason game is on Thursday against the New York Giants, and with less men available to take the field, this game may be the most telling of all.