The Patriots made headlines earlier today when they moved on from both of their backup QBs, leaving Mac Jones as the lone quarterback on the active roster. The organization has continued making moves, reducing their roster to 53 players:
James Ferentz is one of the few holdovers from the Tom Brady in New England, with the lineman having been with the Patriots since the 2018 campaign. Over the past five seasons, the veteran has appeared in 39 games (nine starts) for the organization. The Patriots made some additions to their offensive line via trade, perhaps costing Ferentz his roster spot.
Veteran Ty Montgomery got into only a single game for the Patriots last season before suffering a season-ending injury. The wideout/running back hasn’t topped 200 yards from scrimmage since the 2018 season. Meanwhile, Kevin Harris was a sixth-round pick by the organization just last year, with the RB getting 18 touches as a rook.
Trey Flowers rejoined the Patriots this offseason after spending the past few years in Detroit and Miami. The defensive lineman had 21 sacks for New England between 2016 and 2018, but he’s only collected 10.5 sacks in the four seasons since. He won’t be eligible to join the active roster until at least Week 5.
Many teams started signing players to reserve/futures contracts yesterday, allowing the organization to retain (routinely) young, practice squad players throughout the offseason. Here are the latest reserve/futures contracts:
After rising from the practice squad to starter during his second Patriots stint, Marcus Cannon will be shut down for a while. The Patriots placed their first-string right tackle on IR on Saturday.
Cannon is believed to have suffered a concussion during the week, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets. He joins Brian Hoyer as Patriots to be placed on IR after concussions this season. Cannon must miss at least four games. Despite Hoyer being eligible to return from IR, the Patriots have not activated the veteran backup yet. The Patriots have six injury activations remaining this season; one of those should be expected to be reserved for Cannon down the line.
Isaiah Wynn‘s struggles upon shifting to right tackle — an unexpected offseason switch between he and Trent Brown — led the Pats to bench the former first-round pick and dangle him in trades. No team came forward, and Wynn remains with the Patriots. A New England trade involving Wynn would have been fairly risky, given Brown and Cannon’s recent injury pasts. Wynn is now in position to start for the Pats again.
The Patriots reacquired Cannon, 34, by signing him to their practice squad this year. After a four-game 2021 season with the Texans — one that saw Cannon go on IR ahead of a Week 5 Patriots matchup — the former Pats right tackle re-emerged as a viable New England starter. Coming off back surgery, Cannon returned to the Pats’ starting lineup in Week 5. After breaking back into the lineup as a sixth O-lineman, Cannon replaced Wynn in Week 7.
From 2012-22, Cannon — a fifth-round Pats pick in 2011 — has made 73 starts with the team. He worked as their right tackle starter in Super Bowls LI and LIII as well.
Wynn had allowed three sacks during his four-start 2022, committing an NFL-high eight penalties. But the contract-year blocker should be expected to have another chance. Wynn, who also has a fairly extensive injury history, shifted to the role of a sixth blocker in Week 8. He played 25 snaps. The Pats used one of their injury activations on Yodny Cajuste recently, but the 2021 third-round pick did not play any offensive snaps against the Jets.
The Pats also signed running back J.J. Taylor to their active roster, moving him up from their practice squad, and elevated wideout Lynn Bowden and offensive lineman Kody Russey.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The Patriots acknowledged some of their previous draft mistakes today. The team let go of three 2021 draft picks in wide receiver Tre Nixon, linebacker Will Sherman, and linebacker Cameron McGrone, and they even let go of a 2022 draft pick in sixth-round running back Kevin Harris. However, perhaps the biggest move was releasing tight end end Devin Asiasi. After waiving fellow 2020 third-round tight end Dalton Keene earlier this month, Asiasi was let go today. Despite his third-round status, Asiasi only saw time in 10 games for the Patriots in two years. With Asiasi and Keene out of the picture, it was expected that Lil’Jordan Humphrey would make the squad as a hybrid WR/TE. However, for the time being, the Patriots will roll with only two tight ends in Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
Terrance Mitchell started 29 games over the past two seasons in stints with the Browns and Texans, and he had a chance to compete for a starting gig in New England. However, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the position, the veteran wasn’t able to make his mark, leading to a surprising release. Justin Bethel is another surprising cut, as the veteran has established himself as a special teams ace in recent years.
We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR: