Patriots notebook: Breaking down the final roster cutdown

By Sterling Pingree

  • The most hyped name heading into training camp this year was Braxton Berrios. The 6th round wide out from Miami has probably been talked about more than even 1st round pick Sony Michel. Berrios looked like a Patriots type receiver in that he can play in the slot, he’s fast and made big plays at Miami in the middle of the field. Berrios returned punts, or downed them to be more accurate in the Patriots first game against Washington and then wasn’t really seen again. The Patriots placed Berrios on injured reserve for the season. Not sure what the injury was, but this feels like Berrios is being stashed on IR and could have an impact in the future but not this season, even with the remarkably thin receiving corps.
  • Speaking of the thin receiving corps, one of the most surprising cuts was Riley McCarron. Not quite as hyped at Berrios he was looked at as a solid bet to make the team if things broke right and if by broke right you mean Jordan Matthews, Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell being cut and Eric Decker retiring you would have been right. Then how didn’t McCarron make the 53-man roster? It’s kind of a mystery but the Patriots were able to get him onto the practice squad and it could be a short stay there, especially in the first four weeks that Julian Edelman will miss.
  • Brandon Bolden was cut this week, which seems surprising until you remember that he was cut last year at this same time. Bolden of course signed back with the team a few days later. This was a move to allow the team more flexibility during the scramble for players who have been cut. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bolden sign back this week, but it’s interesting that twice the team was willing to let Bolden dangle out there only to reel him back in for the sake of roster maneuverings. I wonder what that negotiation is like.
  • Danny Etling was cut and signed back to the practice squad. Feels like the right move, aside from his 86-yard touchdown run in the final preseason game, Etling was pretty inconsistent. At the same time, he does seem to have a good sense of the game and moves around pretty well. The practice squad is a good spot for him to develop and learn the schemes of Josh McDaniels’ offense. It was interesting last Thursday night during the final preseason game, it felt after throwing two INTs that Etling was sure to be cut, but after a couple of competent drives and the 86-yard run, people were calling for him to be named back up instead of Brian Hoyer.
  • Jason McCourty made the team after a lot of discussion back and forth. It’s been fascinating to follow since the Pats sent a pick to the Brown for Devin’s twin brother. At first, many were penciling Jason into the starting cornerback spot opposite of Stephon Gilmore but by the final preseason game he was fighting for a spot at safety. It’s interesting that Devin McCourty revived his career by making the move over from corner to safety and now it appears that his twin brother Jason is going to have that same chance in New England.

Sterling Pingree (@SterlingPingree on Twitter) is a co-host of The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.