The Patriots announced that 20 players have been released to reach the NFL's 53-man roster limit. According to reports the team also acquired linebacker Tracy Whiteand safetyJarrad Page.
The biggest surprise was outside linebacker Derrick Burgess. The remainder of the list included wide receivers Sam Aiken, Buddy Farnham, Darnell Jenkinsand Rod Owens, linebackers Eric Alexander, Thomas Williamsand Pierre Woods, safeties Sergio Brownand Ross Ventrone, offensive linemen George Bussey, Rich Ohrnberger, Ted LarsenandThomas Welch, tight ends Rob Myersand Carson Butler, running backs Thomas ClaytonandChris Taylor, quarterback Zac Robinsonand cornerbackDeAngelo Willingham. Brandon McGowan was also placed on injured reserve.
While none of Bill Belichick'smoves would classify as shocking, he did have a few surprises in store. Rosters didn't need to be chopped to 53 until today, but Belichick chose to release two players yesterday and one was veteran defensive linemanDamione Lewis. That move wasn't a stunner considering Lewis spent the bulk of the summer working with the third unit during training camp practices. The former first-round pick arrived as a free agent this offseason with a solid repuation but a lack of familiarity with a 3-4, two-gap defense. That inexperience apparently was too much to overcome.
Interestingly, the Denver Broncos included former Patriot Jarvis Greenamong their final cuts and it's possible the Belichick would like to add him to the defensive line mix with Ty Warren(hip) on IR and Lewis now out of the picture.
Belichick other boat-rocker was dispatching Derrick Burgess. It appeared as if Burgess was slated for a starting spot at outside linebacker after missing the first couple of weeks of camp while dealing with a personal issue, but Belichick evidently felt his performance didn't warrant it. Burgess appeared lethargic from the day he arrived and the Giants ran right at him with plenty of success during the preseason finale at the New Meadowlands Stadium last week.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Page was acquired from Kansas City in exchange for a conditional draft choice. The 25-year-old safety was a restricted free agent but signed his contract Friday. With McGowan placed on IR it's possible he could serve as insurance if he is unable to return to action.
White was acquired for a conditional pick in 2012 according to the Eagles. The 6-0, 230-pound White, who enters his ninth NFL season, has played for the Seattle (2003-2004), Jacksonville (2005), Green Bay (2006-2008) and the Eagles (2008-2009). He has started just two games in his career so he'll more than likely fill a special teams role.