AFC East: Ross Ventrone

Check here for a complete list of the New England Patriots‘ roster moves.

Surprise move: There was plenty of speculation about safety Brandon Meriweather's future after he played into the fourth quarter with the second unit in Thursday’s exhibition finale against the New York Giants, but it was still a surprise when the Patriots outright released the former first-round pick (24th overall in the 2007 draft) on Saturday. After releasing veteran James Sanders as part of the previous cutdowns, the Patriots further turned over that position, waving goodbye to a player who’s been to the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons.

The team also raised some eyebrows by releasing defensive end Eric Moore, a starter at season’s end last year, but the additions of veterans such as Mark Anderson and Shaun Ellis on the defensive line made him expendable. Wide receiver Brandon Tate, who was the team’s primary kick returner and No. 3 receiver last year, got edged by more versatile bodies, and veteran running back Sammy Morris was a victim of an influx of young talent at running back.

No-brainers: First-year players like offensive lineman Thomas Austin, running back Eric Kettani, and defensive back Ross Ventrone, as well as rookies linebacker Markell Carter, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias, defensive end Alex Silvestro, tight end Lee Smith and tight end Will Yeatman were longer shots to make the roster. The release of two young tight ends (Smith and Yeatman) is a bit surprising given New England’s love of three tight-end sets and no pure fullback. (Could veteran Alge Crumpler be on the radar?)

What’s next: The Patriots are certainly in the market for safety help, and with backup guard Rich Ohrnberger placed on season-ending injured reserve, the team is thin on the interior line. Remember that this team rarely sits idle after cutdowns. Expect the Patriots to tweak their roster further based on what becomes available from cutdowns across the league.

Patriots end Torry Holt's season

August, 15, 2010
Torry Holt's season -- and perhaps his career -- is over.

The New England Patriots placed the prolific receiver on injured reserve Sunday because of a bad knee. At 34 years old and with declining production, this could be the end for Holt.

"It's a great disappointment for Torry," Holt's agent, Kennard McGuire, told's Mike Reiss. "He saw this as a terrific chance to play with another great quarterback and being coached by one of the all-time greats."

Numbers indicated Holt would have a difficult time making the roster anyway. Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Julian Edelman are locks. Top draft picks Brandon Tate and Taylor Price have had solid summers.

Holt is a seven-time Pro Bowler with 920 receptions (11th all-time) for 13,382 yards (10th all-time) and 74 touchdowns (tied for 27th all-time).

With a spot open on the roster, the Patriots brought back recently released receiver Buddy Farnham.

In other roster news, the Patriots released rookie defensive back Ross Ventrone and signed undrafted rookie offensive lineman Brian Simmons.

AFC East wire: Fins add new PR flub?

April, 30, 2010
Buffalo Bills

  • The Bills added six more undrafted free agents on Thursday, including Buffalo native and Bulls all-time leading receiver Naaman Roosevelt. The other five: Wayne State RB Joique Bell, Howard University DE Will Croner, Tulsa CB John Destin, Texas A&M-Kingsville G Jorge Guerra and Virginia Tech CB Stephan Virgil.
  • In a radio interview Thursday, GM Buddy Nix explained why the team hasn't made changes at quarterback so far this offseason.
Miami Dolphins

  • The Dolphins will get a look at the 2010 draft class in action on Friday, along with at least seven newly signed undrafted free agents and several other undrafted players, as rookie minicamp opens.
  • The team may have another PR headache on their hands, according to Armando Salguero. Rookie linebacker A.J. Edds was assigned No. 54 (former Dolphins great Zach Thomas' old number) for this weekend's rookie minicamp on the heels of Thomas criticizing the Dolphins for how they treated Jason Taylor.
  • The South Florida Sun-Sentinel breaks down how the Dolphins would like to use all eight of their 2010 draft picks this season.
New England Patriots

  • The team has signed eight undrafted free agents: Central Michigan WR Bryan Anderson, Notre Dame S Sergio Brown, Villanova S Ross Ventrone, Montana State DL Dane Fletcher, Mississippi State DL Kyle Love, California of Pennsylvania CB Terrence Johnson, North Dakota State RB Pat Paschall and Illinois' John Wise, an All-American wrestler who is projected to be an offensive lineman.
  • The Boston Globe has a profile of first-rounder Devin McCourty.
New York Jets

  • Mark Sanchez's advice to former USC and new Jets teammate Joe McKnight: "Be around LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene until they shoo you away."

AFC East's undrafted rookies sorting out

April, 26, 2010
Who will be the next Wes Welker, Bart Scott or Davone Bess?

The final phase of draft weekend isn't running the vacuum cleaner in the war room on Saturday night. It's combing what's still left on the board and trying to sign the best leftovers to free-agent contracts. They can turn into starters -- and sometimes stars.

Teams can be slow to reveal the names of the rookie free agents they sign right after the draft, but Pro Football Weekly has kept an impressive, unofficial rundown from around the league. Here are the names PFW is reporting in the AFC East:

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

  • Bryan Anderson, Central Michigan receiver
  • Sergio Brown, Notre Dame safety
  • Dane Fletcher, Montana State outside linebacker
  • Kyle Love, Mississippi State defensive tackle
  • Pat Paschall, North Dakota State running back
  • Ross Ventrone, Villanova safety
  • John Wise, Illinois defensive lineman
New York Jets