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Sunday, September 1, 2013

For Now The Patriots' 53-Man Roster Is Set, With Some Surprises

It's a long weekend, basically the last taste of summer, so you're excused if your head is spinning from all the moves the Patriots made the last few days to whittle down their roster to 53 players plus start to assemble a practice squad. Obviously the big news on Saturday was that Tim Tebow was released (I was wrong!) while Adrian Wilson was placed on IR and Zoltan Mesko was cut.

This afternoon, the Pats continued to make some interesting choices as Leon Washington and Marquice Cole were released. Oh and Gronk practiced in full pads for the first time. To fill out their active roster, New England claimed four players off waivers: center Braxston Cave, guard Chris Barker and defensive tackle A.J. Francis who are all rookies along with third-year linebacker Chris White.

I thought Tebow would make the roster simply because he had Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick in his corner but seeing how much he struggled in the preseason, you have to wonder if he'll ever play in the NFL again. Rookie Ryan Allen beat out Mesko who had been solid for the last few years. It's hard to believe that Gronk would play in Week 1 or 2 (short turnaround for Thursday home opener vs. Jets) but the fact that he's ramping up his activities in practice can only be a good thing.

There are seven spots on a practice squad and so far the Pats have signed five guys: linebackers Ja'Gared Davis and Jeff Tarpinian, defensive lineman Marcus Forston, safety Kanorris Davis and cornerback Justin Green.

We've made it, thus begins the first week leading up to the opener on Sunday (1 p.m., CBS) at Buffalo. During the regular season, I'll post the injury report on Friday then update it before kickoff. Also, I'll keep up to date on any other news that happens during the week. Looking forward to it all, football's back!

UPDATE 9/3: On Monday, the Patriots resigned Cole and waived undrafted rookie guard Josh Kline. Also, fullback James Develin was released and tight end Matthew Mulligan is expected to be signed after New England worked him out on Monday. Undrafted rookie offensive lineman R.J. Dill was added to the practice squad so there is one spot left on that.

UPDATE 9/5: Kline was resigned to the practice squad and linebacker Jeff Tarpinian (the new Ross Ventrone?) was released from the practice squad.

UPDATE: Cave and Mulligan were released while offensive tackle Jordan Devey was signed to the practice squad. Develin reportedly will be re-signed, leaving the Pats with one open roster spot heading into Friday (two days before the season opener in Buffalo).

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