Do The Patriots Only Have One Actual Contested Roster Spot Heading Into Pre-Season Game #2?
Obviously the Patriots roster is filled with some pretty good players, evidence by the tag of being the reigning Super Bowl Champions, and getting on to that roster for any new guys is going to be an uphill battle. That battle may be for one highly contested roster spot.
Rich Hill from Patspulpit.com thinks he can nail down 52 spots of the final 53-man roster, leaving one spot open for about five guys to fight for.
The following is his explanation on how he thinks the roster will shake out.
1. When I run through the New England Patriots roster, there are only a few spots available- barring a trade or injury. I count 47 players as roster locks, including Matthew Slater, who is dealing with a hamstring injury per the Herald’s Jeff Howe.
In my opinion, I include QB Jacoby Brissett, RB Dion Lewis, OG Ted Karras, and EDGE Kony Ealy as roster locks.
There are just six roster spots available and there are some obvious competitions at play, leaving very few slots for “best player available.”
For example, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Dwayne Allen are roster locks, but the team will likely carry three tight ends. That means that Jacob Hollister, James O’Shaughnessy and Matt Lengel are competing for one roster spot.
I also only count four linebackers as locks- Dont’a Hightower, David Harris, Kyle Van Noy, and Shea McClellin- and think that Jonathan Freeny, Harvey Langi, and Elandon Roberts are competing for two openings.
Cornerback is the last unsettled position where Malcolm Butler, Stephon Gilmore, and Eric Rowe are locks and Cyrus Jones, Jonathan Jones, and Justin Coleman are playing for two spots.
And when these three position battles are settled, there is just one remaining open roster spot. Does it go to the likes of RB D.J. Foster or WR Austin Carr? Or DL Adam Butler or SS Jordan Richards? Or one of the players that doesn’t win the projected roster slot?
Regardless, it seems like most of these training camp battles are about which players the Patriots want to keep on the practice squad.