Cutdown Day Mayhem

Sports can have a singular day where all the craziness and ups and downs are all packed into a single day. Basketball has its free agency. Soccer its World Cup draw. And baseball, actually I don’t think baseball has one of those. And football, every Sunday can be an exercise in maintaining your sanity as the world around you goes mad. One day encapsulates this. You could say that its draft day. And if it is then cut down day is that times 100. All the losses of your favorites, surprise cuts, trades and rumors all come together in less than 24 hours. The following is all the news and notes of a fan watching and waiting to see who is going to make the New England Patriots initial 53 man roster.

Surprise Subtractions

The action started Friday with the surprise trade of second year corner Duke Dawson. It’s rare that a second round pick is in danger of losing his spot so soon but Dawson was firmly on the bubble. Bill Belichick recognized that he simply was not going to make the team this year and recouped a little of his investment. Fan favorite Braxton Berrios lost his momentum and was passed by and cut today. Preseason standout Nick Brossette and Calvin Munson also did not make the team. Recent acquisitions in Scooby Wright III and Eric Saubert received their papers. Now the scramble for the recently unemployed begins. They begin their quest to be one of the guys signed to the Patriots practice squad or find another home.

This did not include two of the craziest cuts of the day. Gaining Tom Brady’s trust is a difficult thing to do. More so when you are the guy directly behind him and waiting to perhaps take his job. Brian Hoyer appeared to have everything aligned for him to make the squad for the 2019 season. Guaranteed salary, rookie competition behind him, and the ability to work with Brady and help the team win at the same time. It did not happen and Hoyer was informed of his release today.

Legal Disclaimer

This your obligatory reminder that the rosters are very fluid and much remains to be done. Those at the bottom of the roster cannot feel ‘safe” anymore than those that have been recently cut are out for the season. In fact one of the more popular theories is that Hoyer and Demaryius Thomas have been cut in order to allow for a procedural move and keep players eligible to return from the injured reserve by placing them on it Sunday.

Demaryius Thomas was a special case this summer. Recovering from a ruptured Achilles he made significant strides and played in the fourth preseason game. He showed that he still could contribute and appeared to be healthy. It was considered a near lock for him. Again, this could all be part of Belichick and Nick Caserio’s plan to try and get as many players on the roster as the can.

Several Patriots saw their seasons come to a quick end today. David Andrews, Hjalte Froholdt, Malik Gant and Derek Rivers all hit the season ending injured reserve. Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks also just begin serving their suspensions and can return when they are over.

When Dawson was jettisoned to mile high a popular save was special teamer and cornerback Keion Crossen. It may have even been in the plans to keep him on the roster. A flurry of moves by the Houston Texans also saw them trade for Crossen for a sixth round pick. And this allowed for a wonderful save to the roster…

Super Saves
Aug 29, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Gunner Olszewski (9) returns the ball during the second half against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Wide receiver Gunner Olszewksi! This amazing story kept many a Patriot fan googling Bemidji State University and trying to figure out who this kid was. Once he was in a fierce battle with Braxton Berrios for a punt returner job. Then he played cornerbacked, pass, caught, and kick returned his way into our hearts in the fourth preseason game. Typically the game that most players will be hitting the streets later, Belichick once again proved not much more matters than can you help the team win football games. Here’s hoping that he continues to improve and we have our next Julian Edelman on our team.

All the recent acquisitions along the offensive line have made the squad. Coach Dante Scarnecchia is working overtime incorporating new faces Russell Bodine, Korey Cunningham and Jermaine Eluemunor. They will provide the depth for the starters and they need to get up to speed quickly.

Jakobi Meyers impressed many with his quickness, and rapport with Jarrett Stidham. It cooled a little with Brady and he lost some ground to the veterans. Meyers can continue to learn the position and learn his craft from some of the best.

Some other players that had question marks attached to them made the team. Deatrich Wise, Adam Butler, Shilique Calhoun, Elandon Roberts, Terrence Brooks and Obi Melifonwu (and in a related note; I am rapidly learning how to spell difficult names).

Roster Thoughts

The roster looks both balanced and deep. In a way not expected, with so many talented players competing for a spot. The Patriots brain trust made some savvy trades and moves this week and are looking to field the most talented team they can. If Thomas can return and if Hoyer returns they will be poised to play deep into January and in another Super Bowl.

NFL Moves

Apart from the business of the Patriots it was a day of crazy news and transactions across the country. Who knew that the Houston Texans would be the center of the football world for few hours as they negotiated Jadeveon Clowney’s trade to Seattle and then the surprise trade for Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil from Miami. Time will tell as to the shrewdness of the general manager-less organization and the wisdom of those moves. Running back LeSean McCoy was cut from the Buffalo Bills and immediately speculated to New England among other places. New York Jets parted ways with third round rookie Jachai Polite. 

Now we are onto the 2019 season and ready for real football action. This is your New England Patriots and we are onto the Super Bowl!!

Thank you for reading this article written by Andy Lykins You can find more of my work there or over @alykins32 on Twitter. Believe in Boston Sports is following your favorite Boston Sports with positive journalism. Let’s get that 7th Ring!

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