|Patriots add Waters and Aiken; release Dearth and Maneri||09.04.11 at 2:56 pm ET|
The Patriots on Sunday announced the signing of 11-year veteran guard Brian Waters. In addition, New England released long snapper James Dearth and offensive Steve Maneri, and a league source has confirmed that the Patriots have claimed long snapper Danny Aiken on waivers from the Bills.
Waters, 6-foot-3, 320 pounds, spent the last 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs (2000-10), where he earned four Pro Bowl berths while playing in 163 regular seasons games with 149 starts. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent tight end with the Dallas Cowboys in 1999 out of North Texas but was released prior to the start of the regular season. Waters signed with Kansas City on February 3, 2000 and switched to the offensive line. He spent the spring of 2000 playing in NFL Europe for the Berlin Thunder. Waters played tight end for his first three years at North Texas before moving to the defensive line as a senior.
Waters earned Pro Bowl berth in 2004-06 and in 2008 and earned the 2009 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his off-the-field community service in addition to his on-field successes.
Aiken, 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, was claimed off waivers from the Bills. The 23-year-old is a rookie out of Virginia.
Dearth, 6-foot-4, 265 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on August 30, 2011. He is a veteran of 11 NFL seasons with Cleveland (1999), the New York Jets (2001-09) and San Diego (2010). He originally entered the NFL as a sixth round draft pick of Cleveland out of Tarleton State in 1999.
Maneri, 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, spent the majority of the 2010 season on the New England practice squad. He was claimed by the Patriots off waivers from Houston on September 5, 2010 and spent the first three weeks on the 53-man roster before being released and signed to the practice squad. He originally signed with Houston as a rookie free agent out of Temple on May 7, 2010.
|Patriots’ practice squad starting to come together||at 2:31 pm ET|
As of early Sunday afternoon, multiple media reports and league sources indicate the following players are expected to join the New England practice squad, provided they pass through waivers: outside linebacker/defensive end Markell Carter, defensive end Alex Silvestro, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarlas and defensive back Ross Ventrone.
One player the Patriots were hoping to get through to the practice squad was tight end Will Yeatman. However, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Yeatman was ready to sign to New England’s practice squad when informed he had been claimed by Dolphins. Needless to say, it’s an extremely fluid situation at this point.
The Patriots have already picked up guard Brian Waters, while safety Brandon Meriweather, who was released on Saturday by New England, has signed a one-year deal with the Bears. In addition, here are a few other personnel moves worth passing along ‘ the Bengals claimed former Patriots wide receiver/kick returner Brandon Tate off waivers after he was released by New England Saturday. And Buffalo did the same to tight end Lee Smith, who drafted in the fifth round this past spring by New England but was let go by the Patriots Saturday.
|Patriots announce complete list of cuts||09.03.11 at 6:56 pm ET|
The Patriots announced Saturday they have released 15 players, placed three players on the reserve physically unable to perform list, one player on the reserve non-football injury list and one on injured reserve to reach the NFL mandatory 53-man roster limit.
The Patriots released veteran players defensive lineman Landon Cohen, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, safety Brandon Meriweather, defensive end Eric Moore, running back Sammy Morris, wide receiver Brandon Tate and wide receiver Tiquan Underwood. In addition, the following first-year players were cut: offensive lineman Thomas Austin, running back Eric Kettani and defensive back Ross Ventrone. And, the following rookies were cut linebacker Markell Carter, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarlas, defensive end Alex Silvestro, tight end Lee Smith and tight end Will Yeatman.
In addition, defensive lineman Ron Brace, defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick and running back Kevin Faulk were placed on the reserve physically unable to perform list, while 2011 fifth-round draft pick Marcus Cannon was placed on the reserve non-football injury list and offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger was placed on injured reserve.
Here’s a portion of the release issued by the team:
Cohen, 6-3, 300 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on December 22, 2010 and played in two games with one start and finished with four tackles. He is a veteran of three NFL seasons after spending time with the Detroit Lions (2008-09), Jacksonville Jaguars (2010) and Patriots (2010). Cohen was originally drafted by Detroit in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL draft out of Ohio.
Koutouvides, 6-2, 238 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on August 14, 2011. He is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks (2004-07), Denver Broncos (2008) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010). Koutouvides originally entered the NFL as a fourth round draft pick (116th overall) of Seattle in 2004 out of Purdue.
Meriweather, 5-11, 200 pounds, was drafted by the Patriots in the first round (24th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft out of Miami. He has played in 64 games with 40 starts over his first four NFL seasons and has registered 244 total tackles and 12 interceptions. He had a career-high five interception in 2008 when he earned the first of two consecutive Pro Bowl berths.
Moore, 6-4, 268 pounds, was signed by the Patriots on December 3, 2010. He played in four games with three starts for the Patriots and finished with 13 tackles, 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He is a veteran of five NFL seasons with the New York Giants (2005), New Orleans Saints (2006) and St. Louis Rams (2006-08) and Patriots (2010). Moore originally entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick (186th overall) by the New York Giants out of Florida State in 2005.
Morris, 6-0, 220, spent the last four seasons (2007-10) with the Patriots after joining the team as an unrestricted free agent on March 3, 2007. He originally joined the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick (156th overall) of the Buffalo Bills in the 2000 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech. After four years in Buffalo, Morris spent three seasons (2004-06) with the Miami Dolphins. Morris led the Patriots in 2008 with 727 rushing yards and a career-high seven touchdowns.
Tate, 6-1, 195 pounds, was drafted by the Patriots in the third round (83rd overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft out of North Carolina. After appearing in just two games as a rookie in 2009, Tate played in all 16 games with 10 starts last season and finished with 24 receptions for 432 yards with three touchdowns and returned 41 kickoffs for 1,057 yards with two touchdowns.
Underwood, 6-1, 183 pounds, is a veteran of two NFL seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars who signed with the Patriots on August 29 after being released by Jacksonville. Underwood originally entered the NFL as a seventh round draft choice (253rd overall) by Jacksonville in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Rutgers. After beginning his rookie season on the practice squad, he joined the 53-man roster and appeared in three games, mainly on special teams. Last season, he played in 10 games and caught eight passes for 111 yards and returned 24 kicks for 561 yards, including a career-long of 53 yards in the season-opener vs. Denver (9/12).
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|Report: Patriots cut tight end Will Yeatman||at 5:59 pm ET|
Multiple media reports indicate that tight end Will Yeatman, an undrafted free agent, has been released by the Patriots. Yeatman, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound rookie out of Maryland, waged a fierce battle for a roster spot at a crowded tight end spot, and he finished the preseason with five catches for 30 yards in four games. The 23-year-old Yeatman, a former collegiate lacrosse star, does have practice squad eligibility, but first must pass through waivers.
A day full of intriguing personnel moves got even more interesting when the Patriots reportedly made the move to release wide receiver Brandon Tate, according to Pro Football Talk.
The 23-year-old Tate, a 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, was a third-round pick of the Patriots in 2009, and did emerge as something of a deep threat and valued special teamer (he returned a pair of kicks for touchdowns last year, one 103 yards and another 97 yards). However, he never really appeared secure as a wide receiver, and struggled this preseason ‘ he was sidelined for much of camp, and certainly didn’t appear to be the same player who was one of the best kick returners in the league over the first half of the season.
Going forward, the Patriots have tried several different options at kick returner, a position they have struggled with since Ellis Hobbs was traded to Philadelphia prior to the start of the 2009 season. Julian Edelman and Darius Butler remain possibilities at that spot ‘ both of them saw time there over the course of the preseason. It was a topic that Patriots coach Bill Belichick addressed on a Friday conference call with reporters.
“We have a number of guys that have done it on this team, so I’m sure it will be somebody from that group,” Belichick said on Friday. “We just have to figure out how it all fits together in terms of our game day roster and how we want to break those responsibilities up ‘ for not only who can do it, but how to divide the responsibilities up for the game so that we give everybody, hopefully, a good role and try not to overload any one individual with too much stuff.”
|Report: Patriots release safety Brandon Meriweather||at 3:15 pm ET|
As the deadline for roster cuts loomed Saturday afternoon, multiple reports indicated the Patriots were attempting to trade the safety. Meriweather, a first-round pick of New England in 2007, had been a lightning rod for controversy over the course of his four-year career, and has moved up and down the depth chart over the last two seasons.
After Thursday’s presesason finale – in which he sat in the first half and started the second half with back-ups – Meriweather admitted he ‘didn’t know his situation’ but was still looking forward to preparing for the season-opener in Miami on Sept. 12.
His playing time has been up and down over the course of the preseason, and saw a significant dip in Thursday’s preseason finale against the Giants, where he was on the field late into the second half with the backups. After the game, he appeared to shrug off any worries.
‘Coach always tells us [to] be ready to play for 60 minutes,’ he told reporters after the game. ‘At any point he can put you in or take you out. Coach is going to do whatever he thinks is best for the team, and everybody else just has to live with it.
‘I don’t know my situation,’ Meriweather added. ‘I think our coaches do a great job rotating all us in. And playing a lot of guys. Getting a lot of guys a lot of playing time with other people to see how they play together so you know you never know your situation until it’s time.’
In all, the 5-foot-11, 200-pounder played in all 64 games with 40 starts over his first four NFL seasons with the Patriots, and was a two-time Pro Bowler. His best year likely came in 2009, when he earned his first Pro Bowl berth after finishing with career highs with 83 tackles and five interceptions.
|Patriots release veteran running back Sammy Morris||at 2:20 pm ET|
The Patriots have informed veteran running back Sammy Morris that he has been released, according to his agent Mark Slough.
Morris, who was signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent on March 3, 2007, has spent the last four seasons in New England, with his best year coming in 2008 when he rushed for 727 yards.
The 34-year-old, who has also played with Buffalo and Miami over the course of an 11-year career where he rushed for 2,955 yards, was one of the more well-respected players in the New England locker room, a classy and intelligent professional who built a reputation as a true team player while with the Patriots.
However, the veteran was faced with an uphill fight in a battle for a roster spot this season, as New England drafted a pair of running backs this past spring in Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. They joined an already crowded positional grouping that included veterans BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead and Kevin Faulk.