All NFL teams must get down to their 53-man rosters by 9 o'clock Eastern tonight, but already, it seems three players (among 22 needed to be axed) are no longer Patriots.
According to Adam Caplan, backup QB Brian Hoyer has been let go (no surprise if you read Andy Hart's most recent roster prediction on this blog) . Shalise Manza Young of The Boston Globe reported moments ago that veteran center Dan Koppen was released, as I had speculated would happen in my PFW roster projection last week. And safety James Ihedigbo took to Twitter to announce that he's no longer with the club.
That means 19 more transactions (cuts or moves to IR) must be made by New England the end of the day to get down to 53. Check this page frequently and follow Team PFW on Twitter for the latest news.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is now saying that wide receiver Deion Branch has been cut as well. That is clearly the most shocking development thus far, if true. Now 18 more moves to go, and counting…
Must say, I'm a bit surprised by Hoyer's release, only for insurance purposes. Playing with one backup QB always scares me. I also thought the team liked Ihedigbo, but this move sounds like good news for either Sergio Brown and/or Malcolm Williams as the fifth safety… perhaps.
UPDATE… 2:19 p.m.
More media reports say LB Aaron Lavarias and CB Derrick Martin are gone, too. That's six down, 16 to go at this hour…
UPDATE… 6:55 pm
Seven more players are reportedly out: S Sergio Brown; OLs Matt Kopa, Derek Dennis, Darrion Weems; RB Eric Kettani; TE Alex Silvestro; LB Jeff Tarpinian. Awaiting nine more moves tonight.
UPDATE… 7:35 pm
Rookie OL Jeremiah Warren and rookie WR Jeremy Ebert make 15. Seven moves remain…
UPDATE… 11:14 pm
The team finally made all their moves official late tonight. All previous reports were true. The final seven included DL Marcus Harrison, WRs Jesse Holley and Kerry Taylor, LB Niko Koutouvides , DB Malcolm Williams, rookie OL Dustin Waldron, and rookie TE Tyler Urban.
In addition, rookie RB/returner Jeff Demps was placed on IR.
Many of these released players are candidates to be re-signed later to the practice squad.