On a beautiful Saturday of Labor Day Weekend the Patriots are at work cutting the roster down to the NFL-mandated 53-man limit by 4 p.m.
As that process unfolds, various reports are coming out as to which players are getting their pink slips.
One of the most notable names on the list, according to ESPN Boston, is Josh Boyce. The second-year former fourth-round pick has failed to do much to stand out at a competitive wide receiver depth chart this summer, although there is obviously the chance the speed target could find his way to the practice squad if he's able to clear through waivers.
Linebacker Steve Beauharnais, a seventh-round pick last year, is also reportedly being let go. The former Rutgers defender was on the New England roster all of last season, but played in just two games a year ago but had been a heady man in the middle of the backup defenders this summer.
Following the previous release of Jemea Thomas, another draft pick from this past May has been released with sixth-round guard Jon Halapio reportedly being cut. Halapio was in the mix for backup work all summer and preseason, but apparently hadn't done enough to break into the line mix heading into the regular season. He would seem another likely potential candidate for the newly expanded 10-man practice squad.
Other players reportedly being let go on Saturday include defensive end Jake Bequette, defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, safety Kanorris Davis, wide receiver Jeremy Gallon, running back Roy Finch, running back Jonas Gray, defensive tackle Eathyn Manumaleuna, defensive tackle L.T. Tuipulotu, center Braxston Cave, tight end Steve Maneri, linebacker James Morris, linebacker Ja'Gared Davis, fullback/linebacker Taylor McCuller, cornerback Daxton Swanson and safety Shamiel Gary.
Of that group, Bequette, Worthy, Gallon and Finch are the most notable names. Bequette is a former third-round pick who has been essentially a healthy-scratch for his first two seasons. Worthy was acquired in trade two weeks ago from the Packers, and would have cost the Patriots a seventh-round pick had he made the roster based off limited practice and preseason game time. Gallon missed most of the summer with an unknown injury and apparently the seventh-round pick wasn't able to prove his value in the short time on the field. Finch is an undrafted rookie with playmaking ability, but probably would have had to earn a role as a returner and his fumbles in the preseason opener may have hurt in that area.
Some of the most interesting names not among the cuts to this point are guys who some have speculated might be on the roster bubble. The biggest name would be backup quarterback Ryan Mallett, although running back Brandon Bolden, offensive linemen Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly and Jordan Devey and pretty much the entire group of safeties not named Devin McCourty.
For now, anyway, those guys save for one more name appear to be safe.
Given the 18 names already reportedly informed of their release – and with undrafted rookie offensive lineman Chris Martin seemingly destined for the non-football injury list to open the season as well as the fact that both Brandon Browner and Brian Tyms won't count toward the roster once their suspensions begin -- New England would seem to need to just cut one more player to reach the 53-man limit.
Of course it's likely that this won't be the last of New England's moves this weekend with the possibility that the team could claim players released by other teams or even pursue a trade.
What do you think of the reported cuts? Let us know with a comment below!