Patriots season is so fricking close!
Ladies and gentleman, the NFL season is quickly coming upon us. Soon my Sundays will be filled with Patriots jerseys, football, burgers, beer, swearing, angry fist pumping, horrific threats towards referees, and utter jubilance over victories. Soon Boston – and all of New England, I got you – will forget about our worries and bask in the glory that is this Patriots team.
But with every Patriots year comes another round of players, whom we have all come to love, being cut from the roster and having to find work elsewhere. Sometimes, we don’t care if these players leave, because we’ve grown tired of them. Looking at you Jermaine Cunningham. Sadly, there are cuts that break our hearts, fan favorites having to be cut from the team because of just roster space.
So now, for your enjoyment, here are four players (some filled with heartbreak, some with copious amounts of relief) on the bubble, fighting for a spot. Now, quick side note. Picking the four worst players heading into camp wouldn’t be fun. That would spark a lively discussion or make you really want to read this. I’m picking four players that all Pats fans know by name (if you don’t then you need to become a better fan) who could meet the chopping block by the beginning of the season.
Lets start. Also they’re in no particular order.
Lets start with the man Marc has been begging to be released since this site first started. Wilson has led to the creation of the term “Tavon Wilson WTF Pick” meaning a draft pick that has everyone not only scratching their heads over it, but questioning the very sanity of the team that draft said player. Again, credit goes to Marc for that creation. It’s really a great term.
Wilson was not invited to the combine, wasn’t on any draft guides, most draft ‘experts’ didn’t bother learning his name, if he was drafted people said 5th round at the earliest, yet the Hoodie selected him in the second round. He saw something no one else saw.
Well, we are all still waiting to see that. He did have a good rookie season, but last year was underwhelming to say the least. With Duron Harmon, Patrick Chung, Nate Ebner, rookie Jemea Thomas, and possibly Logan Ryan all playing and battling for safety, Wilson is the odd one out, simply because WHY IS HE STILL HERE?
Obviously there are plenty of questions still surrounding the Patriots defensive line, especially now with Armond Armstead retiring from the NFL with health issues. That was sad to hear. I, and I think all of Pats nation would agree with me here, would have loved to seen what this guy could have done. Bill and the Pats seemed so high on him and I remember last year people talking about how we might have just made one of the biggest steals in recent memory simply from the way Armstead played. But sadly his heart condition was too much and it forced him out of the game before we could bear witness to his glory.
While this does help Vellano, it still is far away from giving him a spot on the line. First Wilfork and Kelly have returned along with drafted Easley, who everyone wants to see. This means that the budding stars from last year will have to battle it out in camp for a roster spot. Chris Jones has demonstrated a strong ability to pass rush and Sealver Siliga has got the size advantage on Vellano which nicely puts him behind Wilfork and Kelly as their backup. Unless Vellano can show improved pass rushing, I doubt he’s on the team much longer.
Ok, so a slight stray from the path of well known Patriots players but I was debating between Buchanan and the Fresh Prince, but I think Smith has more experience and more to offer the Patriots as a pass rusher than Buchanan. Buchanan also has to fight with this years 6th round pick Zach Moore, who, while from the small school of Concordia, has the body and skill to be a strong situational pass rusher.
Reports have said that Buchanan has bulked up this offseason and hopefully for him that means he’ll be able to stop the run, something that he – and the entire Patriots’ defense – couldn’t do for the life of him last year. He has the pass rushing ability, but he’ll need to show more in a crowded pass rushing locker room.
So I know I said I didn’t put these in a particular order, but I did save Bolden for last. When it comes to fan favorites, or players we love that have to get cut, Bolden would certainly be towards the top of that list. It could be argued that he is the best running back on the team, when you take into consideration all the factors that make a great back. Looking at speed, power, strength, hands and quickness. He has displayed countless times his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and make people miss in space, something the Patriots love to do with their backs. He has the highest yards per carry on the roster right now with 4.9 and has an average of 7.8 yards after the catch (YAC).
So why his he buried at the bottom of the depth chart and at the bottom of this article? He has had fumbling issues but mainly he struggles in pass blocking. If he can demonstrate an improvement in these traits, his chances could drastically increase. Sadly the addition of rookie James White and my favorite Roy Finch could make his battle a bit more difficult, especially since Finch can play special teams and White brings most of all the same attributes he does to the table.
But hopefully he’ll stick around. And maybe Vellano too. I like him. Wilson, you can get out of here. Honestly, I surprised you’re still around. Buchanan, I haven’t seen much of you. But what I do know is that football season is coming and Ned Stark and I are gonna prepare for the winter months.