By: Steve Balestrieri
With the initial 10 cuts yesterday, the New England Patriots have narrowed their roster down to 65 players, they must cut an additional 12 more to reach the 53 man roster limit by 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
Here is a list of potential bubble players by position still on the roster:
Tim Tebow is still in the running for the 3rd QB role on the Patriots. (FILE:USPresswire)
Has Tebow done enough to stick on the roster? That is the biggest question facing the coaching staff. If the Patriots do decide to drop him there is also nothing from stopping them from bringing him back at some point later this season.
Winn had a strong performance in the preseason finale, getting the start and playing well and may have cemented a place on the practice squad. Washington had a highlight reel 43 yard punt return as well as a fumbled return later in the game. With the release of both Ballard and Fells, this bodes well for Develin who can play fullback or line up as a blocking tight end.
One of these two could possibly make the roster as insurance as the team has seven other players basically locked down. But with injuries to Marcus Cannon and Dan Connolly, depth may be an issue moving forward. The team has traditionally carried eight offensive linemen so odds are one of these two initially makes the cut.
Sims had a strong performance in the finale against the Giants as well hauling touchdown grabs of 52 and 9 yards from Tim Tebow in the 4th quarter. It won’t be enough to land him a spot on the 53 man roster, but providing he passes through waivers, he’ll land on the practice squad.
All four of these players may make the cut and land on the 53 man roster. Both Bequette and Buchanan had strong games against the Giants and each brings different skill sets to the table. Bequette is stronger setting the edge in the running game, and Buchanan has shown more burst in rushing the passer.
Vellano has held up surprisingly well as an undersized DT but has a good motor and has done well in rushing the passer. Cunningham hasn’t played in any preseason games due to injury but remains in the mix to either rush the QB in the sub-packages either as a DE or as an interior DT. Cunningham could also be a candidate for the IR-Return designation as well.
Davis was just brought on last week and is a dark horse to stick, which leaves backup and special teams roles to either Tarpinian or Beauharnais. It seems that Beauharnais has more upside defensively but Tarpinian STs value can’t be discounted either.
Green is a dark horse candidate to stick and earlier on Friday it was rumored that Morris was waived/injured but no official announcement has been made yet, but Nick Underhill of MassLive reported that he had re-tweaked his hamstring injury from earlier in camp.
Davis is a real longshot to make the roster, his snaps were way down on the depth chart as well as Tavon Wilson’s, however Wilson is a 2012 2nd round draft pick so the team will be giving him a lot longer leash. Adrian Wilson’s name has been on the list as a bubble player for the past two weeks, I still believe that he’ll stick but we’ve seen stranger things. Ebner has been banged up, doesn’t offer much as a safety but has a strong special teams presence. He may be a candidate for IR.
Allen has been locked in a positional battle with veteran Zoltan Mesko but it appears that Mesko will hold onto his job. Allen will have a hard time clearing waivers, it has even been rumored that the team will keep both punters until all the rosters were finalized and then try to sneak him on the practice squad. I think he’ll be punting for someone else in the NFL very soon.