Of all the roster moves the Patriots made over the last few days, the release of safety James Sanders was most surprising. He had been a lock on previous 53-man projections as a steady presence along with Brandon Meriweather and Patrick Chung.
So when looking at ESPN's fourth version of dueling roster projections, the safety position now has a new look. Meriweather, Chung and second-year man Sergio Brown top the depth chart, and now a fourth spot could be open for either Josh Barrett or James Ihedigbo.
Barrett was claimed on waivers from the Broncos last year but spent the season on injured reserve. He has a background with special teams coach Scott O'Brien when the two were both in Denver. Meanwhile, Ihedigbo played on the "Big 4" special teams units (kickoff coverage, kickoff return, punt coverage, punt return) on Saturday, a sign that he could become a core special teamer.