3:45pm: The Pats are now down to 75 players, after officially announcing their last few roster moves of the day. According to a press release, New England also cut defensive lineman Ben Bass and defensive back Jemea Thomas, and placed linebacker Cameron Gordon on injured reserve.
12:14pm: Defensive back Travis Hawkins will also be waived by the Pats, according to Howe (via Twitter).
12:12pm: The Patriots continue to reduce their roster count on their way to getting down to 75 players by this afternoon’s deadline. While the team has yet to officially announce its latest transactions, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports (via Twitter) that rookie receiver Wilson Van Hooser has been waived and that the team will place running back Tyler Gaffney on injured reserve. Additionally, wideout Derrick Johnson and linebacker Deontae Skinner will be among the Pats’ cuts, according to reports from Christopher Price of WEEI.com and Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe (Twitter link).
According to Howe (via Twitter), Van Hooser has already received some interest from a couple other NFL teams, and looks like a candidate to land on a practice squad somewhere. The wideout could technically still end up signing with New England’s practice squad, though typically a player waived during the first wave of cuts won’t be among a team’s top choices.
As for Gaffney, the Pats originally claimed him off waivers from Carolina, when the Panthers tried to sneak him through to their own injured reserve list. However, by hanging on to him until roster cutdowns, New England will no longer have to put Gaffney through waivers to place him on IR.
By our count, New England will still have 79 active players on its roster after these four moves, so four more transactions will be necessary this afternoon.