- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Most significant move: Releasing tight ends Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells. Ballard, who was claimed on waivers in June, wasn't as widely considered being close to the roster bubble as Fells and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui (who is still with the club). The Patriots have to decide whether to place recovering tight end Rob Gronkowski on the active roster or reserve/physically unable to perform list by Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, and with Ballard and Fells no longer part of the mix, this could be a sign Gronkowski will land on the active roster.
Still 12 more moves to get to limit: By making 10 cuts, the Patriots now have a roster of 65 players. That means 12 more moves must be made by Saturday's deadline.
Tebow remains in the mix: Quarterback Tim Tebow is still on the roster and his fate will be one of the most-watched storylines across the NFL into Saturday. He still faces longer odds for a roster spot from this viewpoint, but if the past 13 years have taught us anything with Bill Belichick, it's always to expect the unexpected. So the question remains: Did Tebow do enough over the course of the preseason to earn a spot? He played the entire second half in Thursday's 28-20 victory over the Giants and it was easily his best performance of the preseason as he finished 6-of-11 for 91 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He added six rushes for 30 yards and was sacked four times. Asked what he would bring to the team if he sticks on the roster, Tebow said, "Someone that will just work hard, loves the game of football, will always hopefully, Lord willing, have a great attitude, a great work ethic, and someone that tries to be an encourager in here."
Minor surprise with Benard: Defensive end Marcus Benard had been one of the feel-good stories of training camp. He had a career-high 7.5 sacks with the Cleveland Browns in 2010, but barely registered on the radar the past two seasons, mainly because of injuries. He had seemingly carved out a niche for himself as a capable reserve and interior substitute rusher in training camp and preseason games, so his release came as a mild surprise.