The roster cut that many thought was coming didn’t. We talked about it here multiple times this preseason where I predicted that Brandon Meriweather was going to cut and he’s still there. The Pats did make a cut at safety though, cutting veteran James Sanders.
Sanders never really wowed me as a fan. I’m not saying that he was a bad player, just saying he didn’t blow me away with his play. On a scale of 1-5 I would say he was a 3. He didn’t have too many stupid plays but didn’t have a ton of blow you away plays. He was serviceable.
But what I want out of my starting safety is either a ball-hawker or a hard hitting safety. He was never a big hitting guy, not a huge ball-hawking guy. Last year he had a career high with three interceptions, eight in his 84 games as a Patriot. He had one sack in that same time. I want a safety that can line up in the box and go get the QB.
There was no animosity from Belichick basically saying that the team made a tough decision, “Not a lot of negatives with James, but we have to select the players that are best for our team.” Sanders got hurt before camp and never really got going. He was limited in practices this camp and the team made the tough decision.
The team also cut ties with 2008 fourth round pick Jonathan Wilhite. Wilhite was hurt last season with a hip injury that had him on the IR. He was up and down in his Pats career. Many experts like Mike Reiss had this one already pegged before it happened.
The team also cut ties with the following (thanks ESPN):
Receivers Darnell Jenkins and Tyree Barnes, kicker Chris Koepplin, long snapper Matt Katula, offensive lineman Mark Wetterer, tight end Garrett Mills, defensive back Malcolm Williams and defensive linemen Clay Nurse and Kade Weston
That gets the team to around that 80 man mark. They have one more to go to be exactly 80. Now they have their final preseason game against the Giants on Thursday and then they have to cut the roster to 53 guys. There will be some bigger names released between now and then, we’ll have to wait and see.