AFC East: Jeff Tarpinian

Patriots sign five to practice squad

September, 1, 2013
9/01/13
8:10
PM ET
The New England Patriots announced the following five players have been signed to the practice squad: LB Ja'Gared Davis, S Kanorris Davis, CB Justin Green, DL Marcus Forston and LB Jeff Tarpinian.

The Patriots claimed Ja'Gared Davis off waivers last week from the Texans. The other four players were with the team in training camp.

The team has three open spots on the eight-man practice squad.

Patriots announce 13 cuts

August, 31, 2013
8/31/13
6:40
PM ET
The New England Patriots announced Saturday that the following 13 players have been released:

DE Jermaine Cunningham
LB Ja'Gared Davis
S Kannoris Davis
DL Marcus Forston
DE Justin Francis
CB Justin Green
OL Chris McDonald
P Zoltan Mesko
DB Stephon Morris
WR Quentin Sims
LB Jeff Tarpinian
QB Tim Tebow
RB George Winn

Of the group, Tarpinian is the one new player who had previously not been reported to be released.

More analysis to come.

Sharing some midday cut-down thoughts

August, 31, 2013
8/31/13
3:07
PM ET
Sharing non-Tim Tebow-based thoughts on some of the Patriots' roster moves today:

1a. The change at punter, with Zoltan Mesko out and rookie Ryan Allen in, has many layers. Both showed this preseason that they are deserving of punting in the NFL this season and that's why I took the unconventional approach of keeping both on a final 53-man roster projection (the idea being that maybe it would have been easier to slide Allen to the practice squad after a few weeks). Allen's upside is obvious; his leg is a bit stronger than Mesko's. But Mesko's control and directional punting seemed a notch above over the course of training camp and the preseason. However, Allen's three second-half punts on Thursday might have been the clincher, which showed his potential when it comes to control and directional punting.

Mesko
Allen
1b. Economics shouldn't have been the primary reason for the decision to go with Allen over Mesko, but it has to be a consideration. Mesko was due to earn $1.3 million in the final year of his contract. Allen has a three-year contract and is due to earn $405,000 this season.

1c. There is a trickle-down effect when it comes to the field-goal operation, as Mesko has served as the primary holder for kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Allen didn't hold at Louisiana Tech, but he's worked on the skill since joining the Patriots. Allen will likely become the primary holder, although backup quarterback Ryan Mallett could also be a consideration for the role.

1d. In 2005, the Patriots released rookie kicker Robbie Gould after an impressive camp and later regretted it when Adam Vinatieri departed in free agency the following year. I wondered how much that experience might have played a factor in this decision.

1e. Mesko goes down as one of the players who was most fun to cover. He also seemed most genuine and his farewell message to fans was most classy. One of my favorite personal memories of Mesko was how he was brought to tears after receiving the team's community service award in 2012. It meant so much to him and the emotions took over.

2. The biggest surprise has come among the reserves at defensive end, with Justin Francis, Marcus Benard and Jermaine Cunningham all being cut. They projected to the 3-4-5 spots on the depth chart. Health was likely a factor with Francis and Cunningham, as they have been sidelined. There is always the possibility for them to return if not picked up elsewhere, but an initial thought is that 2013 seventh-round pick Michael Buchanan (previous film breakdown) has impressed to the point that the coaching staff felt comfortable letting go of more experienced depth at the position. Buchanan was impressive on Thursday.

3. Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui was scheduled to earn $1.3 million, but he's agreed to reduce the salary this year with the chance to recoup some of the earnings in incentives, which helped him stick on the roster. Hoomanawanui's smarts, professionalism and dependability made an impression on the coaching staff last season. That he was the last tight end standing among the group of himself, Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells is a minor surprise.

4. The release of defensive tackle Marcus Forston was a mild surprise from this viewpoint. This could mean that rookie defensive tackle Joe Vellano is the top backup behind Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly. Vellano caught the eye early in training camp, but still didn't think he'd top Forston at this point.

5. Still waiting to hear the fate of presumed bubble players like Vellano, safety Adrian Wilson, running back Leon Washington, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian, cornerback Marquice Cole, fullback James Develin and linebacker Steve Beauharnais.

Patriots eligible for practice squad

August, 31, 2013
8/31/13
5:00
AM ET
Later today, the New England Patriots will finalize the first iteration of their 53-man roster. But the player puzzle doesn’t end there, as the team will begin constructing its practice squad, which can be up to eight players, on Sunday.

It would be no surprise for the Patriots to bring aboard players waived by other teams as members of their practice squad, but the unit will also likely include players waived by the team Saturday.

Below is a look at all current Patriots who still have practice-squad eligibility:

P Ryan Allen
DT Armond Armstead (on reserve/PUP)
LB Steve Beauharnais
DE Jake Bequette
WR Josh Boyce
DE Michael Buchanan
LB Jamie Collins
LB Ja'Gared Davis
S Kanorris Davis
WR Aaron Dobson
DT Marcus Forston
DB Justin Green
DT Cory Grissom (on injured reserve)
S Duron Harmon
WR Mark Harrison (on reserve/PUP)
G Josh Kline
C/G Chris McDonald
CB Logan Ryan
WR Quentin Sims
TE Zach Sudfeld
LB Jeff Tarpinian
WR Kenbrell Thompkins
DT Joe Vellano
RB George Winn
OL Markus Zusevics (on injured reserve)

AFC East links: Hernandez's time to shine?

July, 4, 2012
7/04/12
9:21
AM ET
Buffalo Bills

The Bills and Jets defenses should be among the most improved in the league , according to Scouts Inc.'s Gary Horton.

BuffaloBills.com's Chris Brown checks in with offensive lineman Eric Wood, who has been rehabbing from a torn ACL he suffered in Week 10 last season. “I feel great,” Wood said. “I’m in great shape and obviously I haven’t tested it in any practice or anything, but a lot of that is just being cautious. We didn’t want to do anything in the spring that would set me back. The goal is to be back for the first game and I trust the guys in the training room to get me back to that.”

Miami Dolphins

Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco gets married today on the island of St. Martin, writes South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly. "I hope this marriage settles him a little bit because that will help him football wise," said Ochocinco's trainer, Charlie Collins. "When Chad is focused he's dynamic. I sense he's got that focus. He's hungry again."

Running back Reggie Bush ranks as the 18th-best player in the AFC East, according to BuffaloNews.com's Tim Graham.

New England Patriots

ESPNBoston.com's Mike Rodak looks at reasons why linebacker Jeff Tarpinian should and shouldn't make the final roster.

With Rob Gronkowski coming off a breakout season, what's in store for fellow tight end Aaron Hernandez? PFWOnline.com's Andy Hart explains why Hernandez could be primed for a breakout year himself.

New York Jets

Here's a look at the Jets' training camp schedule with ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus.

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