- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- No NFL team had more players claimed on waivers than the Patriots (5) after Saturday's final roster cutdown. Of the five players awarded to teams on waivers, there were a total of 16 claims on them.
That is an eye-popping total, far and away the highest of any NFL team.
In past years, players the Patriots planned to waive would be dangled in trades, the idea to try to get something for them (e.g. conditional draft choice). With this in mind, coach Bill Belichick was asked his opinion on having so many players claimed by other teams.
"This is one of these years where there weren't very many trades," he said. "I think most teams were going to wait and see how the waiver wire process worked out rather than make trades for players. We talked to some teams, I'd say no more or less than usual, but this just wasn't a real active trade market."
Belichick pointed out that 11 players who were with the Patriots in training camp are now on other teams. That total reflects Belichick's thought that the team had a competitive training camp/preseason.
Some of those players would have been good fits for the Patriots' practice squad (e.g. TE Will Yeatman, TE Lee Smith, OL Thomas Austin), and Belichick was asked if that part of the process was frustrating to him.
"Any time you release a player, I think you have a pretty good expectation that he's not going to be here. Once you put him out there, you can expect to lose him," he answered.
"I just don't think you can release a player and expect to keep the player. If you do [get the player], that's nice if it happens but there has to be a good probability that's not going to happen. It's not anything we ever count on."