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Roster Recap: Patriots Cut 13 on Saturday, Have 2 Open Spots

Bill Belichick

Even though Tim Tebow grabbed all the headlines and hashtags on Saturday, the New England Patriots cut 12 other players and made numerous other moves before then to get its roster beneath the 53-man threshold.

So let’s recap who got the ax and other Patriots roster moves going into Week 1 of the 2013 NFL season:

The “I’m Sorry, Who?” Division

LB Ja’Gared Davis
S Kannoris Davis
DL Marcus Forston
CB Justin Green
OL Chris McDonald
DB Stephon Morris
WR Quentin Sims
RB George Winn
DL Gilbert Pena
DL Scott Vallone
WR Jonathan Haggerty
LB Mike Rivera
OL Luke Patterson
OL Matt Stankiewitch
FB Ben Bartholomew

One final tribute to all those players who I’ve never heard of before, and probably never will again. I’m probably (okay, definitely) missing some players from this list, but that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

The “Who Cares?” Division

QB Tim Tebow

Pretty self-explanatory.

The “Hey, I Recognize That Name!” Division

DE Justin Francis
DE Jermaine Cunningham
DL Marcus Benard
CB Ras-I Dowling

Okay, I have to confess that I have no idea who Benard is. I just read that he was impressive during the preseason and somewhat unexpectedly trimmed from the roster. So he still technically qualifies under the name recognition category.

The “Bristol County Jail House” Division

TE Aaron Hernandez

Sorry, I couldn’t help it. (At least I didn’t call it the “Angel Dust” Division, right?) He just made a nice segue into…

The “Gronk” Division

TE Daniel Fells
TE Jake Ballard

The big news from the tight end position is that Rob Gronkowski will open on the season on the 53-man roster instead of the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, which would have ruled him out of games and practices through Week 6. While that sucks for Fells and Ballard because it cost them at least six weeks of work, this is obviously great news for Pats fans.

The “Wait, what???” Division

LB Jeff Tarpinian
P Zoltan Mesko
S Adrian Wilson

Okay, maybe a special teams/practice squad linebacker doesn’t really count. But I was a little surprised that Tarpinian was ousted. I was definitely surprised when Mesko got the boot (no pun intended, until I realized it was a pun) instead of rookie punter Ryan Allen. I will say I’m kind of disappointed, mostly because Zoltan is infinitely more fun of a name to say when the punting unit comes onto the field. It made the fact that the Patriots were punting slightly more bearable. ZOLTAN! You will be missed.

Wilson ended up on injured reserve, washing away any contributions in 2013. His removal from the roster wasn’t entirely unexpected after he played much of the second half of the Pats’ final preseason game. If I recall correctly, though, there were a number of Rodney Harrison comparisons (however hyperbolic); considering he was signed to a three-year deal in the offseason as well, much more was certainly expected of the veteran safety. Instead, I guess we’ll have to settle for two-first names stalwart Steve Gregory at safety this season.

All that remains in question is what Bill Belichick and the Patriots (that’s redundant, isn’t it?) plan to do with the two open  roster slots left, since all these cuts brought the roster down to 51. Whatever happens, let’s hope any waiver wire moves the Patriots pull off are more impactful than the Boston Red Sox landing infielder John McDonald.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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