logoby Scott Benson

Near as I can figure, this is the way the Pats 53-man roster shakes out after the final cuts were announced today:

Offense (28*)
Quarterback (3) Brady, Cassel, O’Connell
Running back (5*) Maroney, Faulk*, Evans, Jordan, Morris
Wide receiver (9) Moss, Welker, Gaffney, Jackson, Washington, Aiken, Jones, Ventrone, Slater
Tight end (3) Watson, Thomas, Spach
Offensive line (8) Light, Mankins, Koppen, Yates, Kaczur, Hochstein, Britt, Connolly

Defense (23)
Defensive line (6) Seymour, Wilfork, Warren, Green, Wright. L. Smith
Outside linebacker (4) Thomas, Vrabel, Woods, Crable
Inside linebacker (5) Bruschi, Mayo, Alexander, Guyton, Izzo
Cornerback (4) Hobbs, L. Sanders, Wheatley, Wilhite
Safety (4) Harrison, Lynch, Meriweather, J. Sanders

Special Teams (3)
Specialists (3) Gostkowski, Hanson, Paxton

  • Something doesn’t feel final here. Just eight defensive backs? They kept ten last year, and they still ended up out of gas. This year they’re coming off a lousy pre-season where the first stringers were regularly rolled, and they’ve cut back by two. And who is the starter across from Hobbs? Is something up with another player? How does Bryant take starters snaps all through camp only to be released at the final cut?
  • NINE receivers? I’d like to meet the guy who said they’d keep nine receivers (and three tight ends!). Granted, Ventrone and Slater are multi-purpose players that defy strict characterization, but still. Now, 31% of the roster is running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
  • Three rookie linebackers make the team, and by the looks of it, they’ll all be counted on to play. Mayo’s won a starting role, Crable’s going to back up Adalius Thomas, and Guyton’s the proverbial heartbeat away on the inside. Victor Hobson, a veteran FA who was originally thought to be a shrewd signing, never got untracked as a Patriot, and essentially, he was beaten out by an undrafted rookie.
  • None of the veteran free agent OL’s the Pats signed this summer ended up on the final roster. Anthony Clement quickly went to IR, followed by Barry Stokes, and John Welbourn and Mike Flynn were cut today. Dan Connolly is the newest offensive lineman, and he’s been with them since September of 07.
  • And lastly, there is Matt Cassel. Matt Gutierrez fans are buzzing tonight, but they’re not the only ones; any fan would have told you Gutierrez outplayed Cassel in every respect this August. Thing is, Gutierrez was probably competing against Kevin O’Connell instead, and he lost that battle. Cassel’s out next year, just in time for O’Connell to take the next step, and Gutierrez was only in the way.
*Kevin Faulk will not count against the 53 man roster while he serves his 1 game NFL suspension.