AFC East: 2014 NFL Training Camp

New York Jets' cut-down analysis

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
6:45
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Most significant move: It's unusual for a team to dump a second-round pick after only two seasons, but the Jets ran out of patience with wide receiver Stephen Hill. His agent blames the Jets for stunting Hill's development, and he's right on a couple of counts. They rushed him into the lineup as a rookie when he wasn't ready (he played in the triple option in college), and he was slowed by instability at the quarterback position. He also didn't receive a lot of public love from Rex Ryan, who never seemed to embrace Hill. That said, Hill has to take some accountability, too. He's a soft, immature, one-dimensional player who doesn't play with fire. The Jets made the right move. He wasn't one of their top five receivers, and he doesn't play special teams.

Adios, Dimitri: The Jets' decision to release cornerback Dimitri Patterson came as no surprise. Something had to be done, as he had lost the trust of people in the organization and players in the locker room. Here's the part no one is talking about: The Jets were willing to give him a second chance in the aftermath of AWOLGate. They wanted to see how he responded to the suspension. If he had accepted his punishment instead of kicking and screaming, he'd probably still be on the team. But he sealed his fate by dropping his bombshell of a statement, accusing the Jets of lying about the reason for his absence. Basically, he forced his way out. Good riddance.

Survival of the draft picks: Few jobs in America offer as much security as being a John Idzik draft pick. Surprisingly, 10 of the 12 picks remain, including two on injured reserve (wide receiver Shaq Evans and cornerback Dexter McDougle). In upsets, linebackers Jeremiah George, IK Enemkpali and Trevor Reilly survived the final cut, as did wide receiver Quincy Enunwa. This smacks of Idzik trying to protect his drafting record, but it also shows he's trying to develop the bottom of the roster. George, Enemkpali, Reilly and Enunwa will be this year's version of the Idzik Red Shirts (inactive on game day). The downside to this philosophy is that it eliminates useful veteran backups. Linebackers Garrett McIntyre and A.J. Edds lost their jobs because of the youth movement.

Surprise cut: Quarterback Matt Simms. The Jets are taking a calculated risk, hoping no one claims him on waivers. If not, he's likely to return on the practice squad. Under the new rules, Simms is eligible.

What's next: The Jets should send up an "S.O.S." flare regarding their cornerback position. After cutting Johnny Patrick and others, they're down to six corners, only two of whom have significant starting experience -- slot corner Kyle Wilson and Dee Milliner, who might miss the opener because of a high-ankle sprain. The starters on the outside could be Darrin Walls and converted safety Antonio Allen, assuming he recovers from a concussion. The backups are Ellis Lankster and LeQuan Lewis. LeQuan Lewis? Yes, the Jets are desperate. Look for Idzik to import a functional veteran by the end of the weekend. Some folks are clamoring for Champ Bailey because he's a big name, but he's 36 years old and didn't play a snap in the preseason.

Jets' moves: Placed LB Antwan Barnes on the PUP list; Released Hill, Patterson, Simms, Edds, McIntyre, Patrick, WR Clyde Gates, RB Daryl Richardson, RB Alex Green, TE Chris Pantale, DE Zach Thompson, QB Tajh Boyd, DL Tevita Finau, S Rontez Miles, OT Brent Qvale, G Caleb Schlauderaff, DT Kerry Hyder, LB Troy Davis, CB Jeremy Reeves, G Will Campbell and CB Brandon Dixon.

Miami Dolphins cut-down analysis

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
5:07
PM ET
Most significant move: The biggest move the Miami Dolphins made Saturday was releasing running back Daniel Thomas, a second-round pick in 2011. Thomas was once expected to be a future building block on offense. But Thomas never showed the skills needed to be a feature back. He will go down as one of former general manager Jeff Ireland’s biggest draft busts. New general manager Dennis Hickey did not have strong ties to Thomas and graded him based on merit. Thomas was injured in training camp and most of the preseason before making his debut in Thursday’s exhibition finale. Thomas rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, which wasn’t enough. Instead, Miami kept promising rookie running back Damien Williams on the roster as the No. 3 running back behind Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno.

New returner: The Dolphins will have a new kick returner in 2014. Miami released Marcus Thigpen, who had taken over the return duties for the Dolphins the past two seasons. Like Thomas, Thigpen also had nagging injuries in training camp. He muffed a punt Thursday in Miami’s preseason finale, which sealed his fate. The Dolphins will be searching for new options.The most likely candidates include receivers Jarvis Landry and Damian Williams.

Center of attention: Another interesting decision the Dolphins had to make involved Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. After weeks of rehabilitation, Miami decided to take Pouncey off the physically unable to perform list (PUP). This means Pouncey can play whenever he’s recovered from major hip surgery. He’s looked strong in rehab and dropped hints to the Miami media that he’d like to play in London in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders. Keeping Pouncey on the PUP would have prevented him from playing the first six games of the regular season.

What’s next: The Dolphins will work on filling out their 10-player practice squad over the next 24 hours. That should include several players listed in Saturday’s cuts. Miami also could scan the wires to boost depth at a few positions on its 53-man roster. Thin positions of interest include the offensive line, linebacker and tight end.

Team moves: WR Marcus Thigpen, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Kevin Fogg, WR Matt Hazel, QB Seth Lobato, K Jake Rogers, OL David Arkin, OL Evan Finkenberg, TE Evan Wilson, WR Kevin Cone, S Jordan Kovacs, OL Sam Brenner, DE Tevin Mims, DT Isaako Aaitui, OT Tony Hills, TE Kyle Miller, DE D'Aundre Reed, DL Garrison Smith, LB Andrew Wilson, DT Kamal Johnson (IR)
Most significant move: Waiving 2013 fourth-round draft choice Josh Boyce. When training camp began, he was projected as the New England Patriots' top kickoff returner and was part of a deep receiving corps in which his speed was supposed to be an asset. But Kenbrell Thompkins, an undrafted free agent from the same 2013 class, once again outperformed him as Boyce couldn't gain enough momentum. He'd be a strong practice-squad candidate if he clears waivers.

Linebacker depth on radar: Arguably the second-most notable move was second-year linebacker Steve Beauharnais being waived. The Patriots don't have much depth at their off-the-line linebacker spots (evolving depth chart here), but they're probably factoring Dont'a Hightower into that mix, and perhaps even Rob Ninkovich in an emergency. Beauharnais was on the bubble and had value in terms of his knowledge of the defense and ability to lead the huddle and get everyone lined up correctly, so perhaps he returns on the practice squad if he's not claimed.

Three quarterbacks for now: The Patriots kept both Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo behind Tom Brady, marking the first time since 2011 that they'll enter the season with three players at the position. The next question: Who's No. 2?

If history is any indication, expect more movement: The Patriots seldom set their 53-man roster and stand pat. With this in mind, it would hardly be surprising if there aren't more moves ahead, with the club claiming a player or two on waivers, or entertaining trade possibilities in certain areas. Like some of the lower-level players on the roster should be, we're still on edge for potential surprises.

A change at snapper: In releasing Danny Aiken, the Patriots don't have another snapper on the roster outside of Rob Ninkovich. The Patriots could always bring in another player at the position, but for now, it looks like Ninkovich's job unless Aiken returns or the team signs someone else.

Patriots cuts: LS Danny Aiken, LB Steve Beauharnais, DE Jake Bequette, WR Josh Boyce, C Braxston Cave, LB Ja'Gared Davis, S Kanorris Davis, RB Roy Finch, WR Jeremy Gallon, S Shamiel Gary, RB Jonas Gray, OL Jon Halapio, TE Steve Maneri, DL Eathyn Manumaleuna, FB Taylor McCuller, LB James Morris (injured reserve), CB Daxton Swanson, DL L.T. Tuipulotu, DL Jerel Worthy.

What's next: Bill Belichick is scheduled to hold a 10 a.m. ET conference call Sunday to answer questions on the roster, and more.

Buffalo Bills cut-down analysis

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
4:55
PM ET
Most significant move: The Buffalo Bills parted ways, for now at least, with backup quarterback Jeff Tuel. Of the four quarterbacks who started training camp with Bills -- EJ Manuel, Tuel, Thad Lewis and Dennis Dixon -- only Manuel remains. To replace Tuel, the Bills signed veteran Kyle Orton on Saturday. It's a significant upgrade, although the Bills will hope Orton doesn't have to play soon. He'll have to learn the playbook on the fly this season. Meanwhile, Tuel has a chance to return to the practice squad under the NFL's revised rules.

New-look offensive line: The Bills' shuffling on the offensive line resulted in Doug Legursky, an 11-game starter last season, being released. He was in a battle for his roster spot with Kraig Urbik over the last two preseason games. While Urbik was reportedly on the trade block, he'll stick for now. If left guard Chris Williams can't play in the season opener, expect rookie Cyril Richardson to start in his place. That would make Urbik the top interior backup. He edged out Legursky for that spot.

What's next: The Bills will scour the waiver wire as other teams make their moves. The claiming period ends at noon Sunday and it wouldn't be shocking if the Bills tried to upgrade positions. They could use help at tight end, where Scott Chandler (knee) and Lee Smith (toe) missed the preseason finale with injuries. They could also look to replace backup offensive tackle Chris Hairston. The team is also cycling through specialists, having claimed punter/kickoff specialist Jordan Gay and signed punter Colton Schmidt on Saturday. If another one becomes available, they may make a move.

Bills' moves: Released S Deon Broomfield, LB Jimmy Gaines, WR T.J. Graham, WR Caleb Holley, DE Ikponmwosa Igbinosun, DE Bryan Johnson, S Kenny Ladler, C Legursky, G Antoine McClain, QB Tuel, LB Xavius Boyd, DT Landon Cohen, TE Dominique Jones, CB Kamaal McIlwain, CB Sam Miller, P Brian Moorman, QB Jordan Palmer, FB Evan Rodriguez, WR Naaman Roosevelt, C Jared Wheeler. Placed on injured reserve: TE Tony Moeaki, CB Mario Butler, CB Bobby Felder.
The Buffalo Bills plan to waive wide receiver T.J. Graham prior to Saturday's cut-down deadline, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

Graham, a third-round pick in 2012, was buried on the Bills' depth chart this summer and had been on the trading block. The Bills did not find any takers, per Caplan:

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If Graham clears waivers, the Bills have the option of re-signing him to their practice squad as soon as noon Sunday. Graham is eligible for the practice squad under the NFL's new rules this season, but it's unclear if there would be mutual interest between him and the team.

In two seasons in Buffalo, Graham played in 31 games, making 17 starts. He had 23 catches for 361 yards and two touchdowns last season.

The Bills upgraded their wide receiver position this offseason, trading up for Sammy Watkins and later dealing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for Mike Williams. That pushed Graham down the depth chart.

Graham is known for his speed, but has shown inconsistent pass-catching ability.
Miami Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan pressured St. Louis Rams quarterback Garrett Gilbert on the final drive Thursday to help seal Miami’s 14-13 preseason victory. But after the final snap and in the locker room, reality set in for the Dolphins that Jordan will not be available for the next month while he serves his four-game suspension.

Joseph
Jordan
Jordan tested positive for a banned substance this summer. Friday marks the official start of his suspension, and Jordan must stay away from the team and the facility for the next four games.

The 2013 No. 3 overall pick had two tackles and a quarterback pressure in Miami’s preseason finale and showed flashes of what the Dolphins are missing. Jordan will miss games against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders.

"I mean, it’s really tough," Jordan said. "Missing out on all the work that I put in leading up to this point. My guys are heading into the season with a big game and I’m not going to be able to be there. I mean, it’s unfortunate but at the same time, I mean, I understand the situation I’m in and I got to deal with the consequences."

Jordan vows to stay in shape and continue to work on his game. He mentioned the potential of working out with an independent defensive line coach during his suspension if it is within the rules. Jordan cannot work with anyone from the Dolphins organization for the next four weeks.

Jordan showed growth in some areas in training camp and the preseason. But the second-year defensive end still must refine his game to be an every-down defensive lineman.

The suspension loomed over Jordan for weeks, but to his credit he didn’t go into the tank and had a productive summer.

"I understood going into these first four games what the deal was," Jordan said. "I had to make these snaps count at game time and at practice. I then had to make sure I rose my level of play. So when I do step away, I mean, I at least put something in."

In addition to Jordan, starting safety Reshad Jones also is serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Examining the New England Patriots' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Garoppolo has made a serious run at the No. 2 job, putting Mallett's spot in jeopardy. Mallett sticks here because Bill Belichick has previously talked about how quarterback is one position where a team can never have enough depth.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

Played a hunch at this spot last week with Ridley and looks like that was off the mark. Haven't seen enough spark from White to move away from Ridley.

FULLBACKS (1)

That he was held out of the preseason finale speaks to the valuable contributor that he has become.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

If the preseason finale is any indication, with Wright playing 43 of 70 snaps (including penalties), the former Buccaneer is going to be a significant part of the team's plans.

WIDE RECEIVERS (5)

Haven't seen enough from Josh Boyce to warrant giving him a roster spot. Wonder if there would be any trade interest there.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

The Logan Mankins trade came down so quickly on Tuesday, it reshapes the look of this group significantly. Chris Barker, Jon Halapio and/or Braxston Cave are strong practice squad candidates.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Vellano's standing was reflected in that he didn't play in the preseason finale, which probably means he has earned a spot. Jerel Worthy to the practice squad?

LINEBACKERS (6)

Beauharnais has been back and forth between the roster and practice squad in past projections, but his value in leading the defense is deemed important in the final projection, especially with Mayo and Hightower dealing with ailments that have kept them off the field.

CORNERBACKS (6*)

Because Browner is suspended for the first four regular-season games, he won't count against the initial 53-man roster limit. But he is included here because he is obviously a significant part of the team's overall planning for the 2014 season. Butler, an undrafted free agent from West Alabama, was the surprise story of the preseason. Now the question is who starts opposite Revis.

SAFETIES (4)

In an unexpected twist, it looks like Chung and Wilson could provide more value to the team from a defensive/special teams standpoint than Duron Harmon, who is eligible for the practice squad and could land there.

SPECIALISTS (4)

No surprises here, unless the Patriots keep their eyes on available snappers.

Buffalo Bills' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
AM ET
Examining the Buffalo Bills' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)
Anyone have a coin to flip? That's the way this position could go. The Bills will be monitoring the waiver wire closely in the next few days. If better backup options than Tuel or Palmer become available, that's the way they could go.

RUNNING BACKS (4)

No changes here. This group appears set.

FULLBACKS (1)

No changes here. Still no spot for Evan Rodriguez.

RECEIVERS (6)

No changes here. Will another injury to Watkins open a spot for T.J. Graham? We'll say no.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

No changes here. This projection leaves off Tony Moeaki, who still hasn't been able to return from a hamstring injury. The Bills could probably bring him back later -- at a reduced cost -- if they desire.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

No changes here. Sticking with both Urbik and Legursky for now, although it's possible the Bills only keep one of the two veteran interior men in the long-term. Williams' injury "concerns" Doug Marrone, providing more reason to go nine-deep here.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

No changes here. The Bills might not keep all nine of these players in the long-term, but for now, they're worth sticking around.

LINEBACKERS (5)

No changes here. Brown starts for Bradham in Week 1 and this unit gets back to full strength in Week 2.

CORNERBACKS (6)

No changes here. Gilmore and Graham missed the preseason finale with injuries.

SAFETIES (4)

No changes here. Searcy looks to have edged out Duke Williams for the competition to start next to Aaron Williams.

SPECIALISTS (3)

No changes here. Marrone is still kicking around the idea of a kickoff specialist, which could give Jordan Gay a chance to stick. They'll be working off a small sample size.

New York Jets' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
AM ET
Examining the New York Jets' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (3)

Smith and Vick are locked in at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Simms didn't play particularly well in the preseason finale, but he made enough progress over the summer to win a spot. His position coach, David Lee, thinks the world of Simms. The Jets could try to get cute, attemping to slip him through waivers for the practice squad, but why take a chance with a quarterback who might develop into a solid No. 2 down the road? Rookie Tajh Boyd, a sixth-round pick, showed flashes in the finale, but it was too little, too late.

RUNNING BACKS (5)

It's a tough call between Richardson and Alex Green; there's sentiment for both in the organization. In the end, it will be Richardson, a better receiver than Green, who fumbled twice Thursday night. It's an insurance position, anyway, as the Jets figure to dress only four running backs per week.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6)

The big story on the final cutdown is Stephen Hill, a former second-round pick who played his way from a near lock at the start of camp to squarely on the bubble. He didn't get many opportunities Thursday night, but he failed to seize what opportunities he did get -- i.e. yet another dropped pass. The Jets would love to trade Hill, but it might be hard to find a taker. If he makes the team, it's because they're afraid he might actually realize his potential, and that would be embarrassing if it happens with another team. Salas isn't a lock, not after a so-so outing in the final game, but his above-average camp can't be dismissed. Clyde Gates is pushing because of his speed and kickoff-returning ablity. Hakim was one of the underdog stories in camp, winning a job because of his special-teams prowess.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

This is fairly straight forward, although a strong finish by Chris Pantale might cause them to give pause. Cumberland will need time to get up to speed after missing significant time with Achilles' tendon tightness, so Amar0 -- better of late -- might have to carry the day early in the season. It was a solid camp for Sudfeld, but the knock on him is that he fades when the lights go on. Is there a legit blocker in the house?

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9)

Winters played in the final preseason game, which should tell you something. Chances are he'll hold off Aboushi at left guard, but he shouldn't get too comfortable. Aboushi will continue to be the swing right tackle/guard, pushing Winters. Freeman beat out Caleb Schlauderaff for one reserve spot. Ijalana probably will make it by default, because he's the only backup left tackle, but the Jets will be looking for an upgrade. Dozier is this year's version of Aboushi and Will Campbell, meaning it will be a "redshirt" season.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (5)

This is one of the top young defensive lines in the league, a tough group to crack. The coaches really like T.J. Barnes, a Jacksonville Jaguars castoff who worked hard to drop 20-plus pounds. Unfortunately, there's no room at the inn.

LINEBACKERS (8)

Edds is the surprise here, coming out of nowhere to win a job. He was a non-roster player in minicamp but earned a contract, displaying excellent coverage skills and ability on special teams. Troy Davis (quadriceps) and rookie IK Enemkpali (foot) were sabotaged by late injuries. Babin, signed on the eve of training camp, looks like he will be a nice pickup. Antwan Barnes, still not practicing, probably will start the season on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he must sit at least six weeks. Fifth-round pick Jeremiah George could be a rare draft pick that gets cut. Ditto for seventh-rounder Trevor Reilly, which won't make it so rare.

CORNERBACKS (7)

It's hard to imagine the suspended Dimitri Patterson on the opening-day roster. The question is, how and when do they dump him? Not only was he AWOL for 48 hours, but he called out Rex Ryan and John Idzik, basically accusing them of lying. This situation could get uglier before it gets resolved. If Idzik doesn't replace Patterson, it's because he's desperate for cornerbacks and doesn't want to admit he made a mistake by signing him in free agency. It would be a shock if they don't acquire a veteran, either in a trade or on waivers. We're listing Allen at cornerback, not safety, because ... well, they're hurting here. Lewis and Patrick make it by default -- unless something better comes along. Sixth-round pick Brandon Dixon is raw and needs time to develop.

SAFETIES (4)

Pryor has a chance to be special; he'll learn a lot, playing alongside Landry. The new addition here is Bush, who offers help on special teams -- a big point of emphasis after a couple of down years.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Quigley helped his cause with an improved performance in the final game, but one thing we know about the Jets: They like to change punters.

Miami Dolphins' projected roster

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
10:00
AM ET
Examining the Miami Dolphins' roster:

QUARTERBACKS (2)

Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin kept three quarterbacks his first two years. But expect that streak to end, as Seth Lobato didn't show enough to be Miami's No. 3.

RUNNING BACKS (3)

Williams, an undrafted free agent, had a good camp and preseason to unseat Miami draft bust Daniel Thomas.

RECEIVERS (7)

Seven is probably too many receivers. But Thigpen only counts as a kick returner.

TIGHT ENDS (3)

The Dolphins are thin behind Clay. Hoskins outlasted Michael Egnew and injured rookie Arthur Lynch.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10)

This group still has something to prove. The sooner Pouncey can get back on the field, the better.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

No issues here. The Dolphins are deep in the trenches.

LINEBACKERS (7)

I'm still not sure the switch between Ellerbe and Misi will drastically improve this unit. We will find out soon enough.

CORNERBACKS (4)

This group has experience in the starting lineup and youth on the second team.

SAFETIES (5)
Reshad Jones' four-game suspension opened up a spot for a bubble player at safety.

SPECIALISTS (3)

Sturgis' groin injury is concerning. But he has 10 days to get healthy before the regular season.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills have kept wide receiver T.J. Graham on the trade block for the past several months, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan.

It's not a surprise. The Bills bolstered their receiver group this offseason by drafting Sammy Watkins and trading for Mike Williams. Even with the departure of Stevie Johnson, there likely wasn't room for Graham.

lastname
Graham
Graham, a third-round pick in 2012, started 11 games his rookie season, catching 31 passes. He started six games last season and finished with 23 catches and two touchdowns.

After sitting out organized team activities following offseason groin surgery, Graham saw limited action with the first-team offense in training camp. Though he has proven to be a deep threat early in his NFL career, Graham has inconsistent hands and has struggled with drops this summer.

If the Bills are able to deal Graham, it would likely be for a late-round, conditional choice.

Teams might also be waiting for Graham to hit the waiver wire. Unless the Bills keep seven receivers, Graham could be waived by this weekend.

Behind top receivers Watkins, Williams, and Robert Woods, the Bills have Marquise Goodwin, Chris Hogan, and Marcus Easley to round out their depth chart. Easley and Hogan finished first and third, respectively, in special teams tackles last season.

Miami Dolphins cut-down analysis

August, 26, 2014
Aug 26
5:59
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Most significant move: Miami Dolphins quarterback Brady Quinn was the biggest release in terms of name recognition. The former 2007 first-round pick joined Miami about two weeks ago but was put in a rough spot to learn a new offense months after everyone else. Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore played well once Quinn arrived. Receiver Armon Binns also was a quality player who was cut but has a chance to help out another team. The Dolphins have a lot of depth at wide receiver.

Pouncey factor: The Dolphins' toughest roster decision this week doesn't involve cutting a player. Miami must decide by Saturday at 4 p.m. ET whether to save a roster spot for injured Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey or put him on the physically unable to perform list, which would guarantee he sits the first six games of the regular season. Pouncey had major hip surgery this summer and missed all of training camp and the preseason. The initial prognosis for Pouncey was to miss four to seven games. However, Pouncey has looked strong in rehab and believes he’s ahead of schedule. The Dolphins will get a firm medical update on Pouncey this week to decide how much time off he needs.

What’s next: The Dolphins will host the St. Louis Rams on Thursday at Sun Life Stadium. Then Miami will have to cut 22 more players on Saturday to get to its final 53-man roster.

Dolphins’ cuts: QB Brady Quinn, WR Armon Binns, TE Arthur Lynch, DT A.J. Francis, RB Mike Gillislee, TE Brett Brackett, CB Steven Clarke, DE Rakim Cox, DT Cory Grissom, C Tyler Larsen, WR Ryan Spadola, K John Potter, OT Steven Baker, S Demetrius Wright.
Most significant move: On a day when nothing could trump the trade of veteran offensive lineman Logan Mankins, the one name that stood above the rest in terms of cuts is rookie defensive back Jemea Thomas. A sixth-round draft choice out of Georgia Tech (206th overall), Thomas is a versatile player who was expected to compete for a roster spot. After sustaining an injury on the first day of training camp and missing extended time, it set him back and he obviously never made up the lost ground. Perhaps the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Thomas could potentially return on the practice squad, depending on how things shake out with the rest of the roster. The Patriots have plenty of depth in the defensive backfield.

Revisiting Gaffney waiver claim: The Patriots were willing to carry injured rookie running back Tyler Gaffney on their 90-man roster until this cut-down day, and by officially moving him to injured reserve, it reminds us that the Panthers could have done the same if they wanted to keep their sixth-round pick. Gaffney factors into the running back mix in 2015, as the Patriots have three players on their current roster -- Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden -- who are scheduled to become free agents after this season.

What's next: With the roster at 75 players, the Patriots must trim to 53 with the rest of NFL teams on Aug. 30. They have their preseason finale Aug. 28 on the road against the Giants.

Patriots’ cuts: DL Ben Bass, DB Travis Hawkins, WR Derrick Johnson, LB Deontae Skinner, DB Jemea Thomas, WR Wilson Van Hooser

Patriots to injured reserve: RB Tyler Gaffney, LB Cameron Gordon

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Cornerback Dimitri Patterson wasn't on the field at the start of practice Monday, a clear indication that something was amiss. A few minutes later, New York Jets general manager John Idzik informed reporters that Patterson -- AWOL over the weekend -- was suspended indefinitely by the team.

Patterson
Can it get any worse for the Jets and their cornerback situation?

Dee Milliner (high-ankle sprain) rode a stationary bike during the 30-minute window open to the media. Antonio Allen (concussion) wasn't spotted at all. If the Jets had to play a game now, they would probably start Darrin Walls and Ellis Lankster or LeQuan Lewis at cornerback. Yes, Lewis, whom they signed only two weeks ago -- the same Lewis who is with his ninth team since 2011.

Other players that didn't practice were rookie linebacker IK Enemkpali (foot) and linebacker Troy Davis (quadriceps), along with linebacker Antwan Barnes (knee), who remains on the physically-unable-to-perform list.

Tight end Jeff Cumberland (Achilles' tendon) was in the rehab area at the start of practice, but he later joined positional drills.

One note about practice: Now that training camp is over, the team is operating with the regular-season media rules. In other words, the media have restricted access, limited to the 30-minute minimum at the start of practice.

Buffalo Bills cut-down analysis

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
11:15
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Most significant move: The Buffalo Bills releasing quarterback Dennis Dixon reduces the depth chart at the position to three players as the team heads into the preseason finale. Dixon saw his first action of the preseason in Saturday's loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and didn't fare well, losing control of the ball three times in his six snaps. Coach Doug Marrone said he wanted to give Dixon a shot but he pulled him after that drive because of the ball security issues. The Bills now have Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis rounding out the depth chart behind EJ Manuel. Will it stay that way? Lewis' roster spot may still be tenuous, and I would expect the Bills to keep a close eye on the waiver wire for backup options at quarterback.

Special teams competitions over: Kicker Dustin Hopkins and punter Jake Dombrowski were both waived, ending competitions at both positions. Hopkins had been battling for a spot as a kickoff specialist but ultimately didn't show a marked difference in that area over Dan Carpenter, who was already considered better on field goals. Dombrowski didn't punt at all in Saturday's loss and never got his footing against 38-year-old incumbent Brian Moorman. I wouldn't rule out the Bills monitoring the waiver wire for another punter, given Moorman's struggles Saturday. Two of his punts went for 27 and 34 yards in the open field.

Bills' cuts: QB Dennis Dixon, RB Ronnie Wingo, WR Tori Gurley, WR Chris Summers, C Macky MacPherson, G J.J. Unga, DT Damien Jacobs, S JaJuan Harley, S Derek Brim, K Dustin Hopkins, P Jake Dombrowski

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