Breaking down Monday's moves

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
6:50
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Some thoughts on the 12 roster moves the Patriots made on Monday, to trim their roster to 75 players:

SOMEWHAT OF A SURPRISE -- At first glance, the release of Jabar Gaffney seems like a major surprise, as the Patriots moved quickly to re-sign the veteran receiver after he was cut by the Redskins in May. A known favorite of quarterback Tom Brady, the 31-year-old was coming off the best season of his career in 2011.

However, some questions were raised during training camp when Gaffney saw limited reps. The next week in practice, Gaffney limped off the practice field with an apparent thigh injury, and did not play against the Eagles or Buccaneers. With Deion Branch coming off a solid last few weeks, and solidifying his spot as the No. 3 receiver, Gaffney would have limited value as a No. 4 receiver without special-teams contributions. The injury may have also played a part in his release.

In our most recent 53-man roster projections on ESPNBoston.com, only one of the three projections included Gaffney.

CALLING AN AUDIBLE -- Reports Sunday night and Monday morning stated that fullback Spencer Larsen and safety Josh Barrett were released. In reality, both were placed on injured reserve. Even if healthy, both players faced about 50-50 odds of making the final roster.

Also placed on injured reserve was safety Will Allen. For the 34-year-old, the writing was on the wall for him not making the 53-man roster. He saw very limited reps during training camp, did not have significant special-teams contributions, and with rookie safeties Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner having impressed, there just wasn't room for him with the team. Allen was a limited participant in practice last week in Tampa, and did not play in Friday's game, hobbled by apparently the injury that has now landed him on injured reserve.

NO SURPRISES HERE -- The team confirmed the previously reported cuts of veteran defensive linemen Gerard Warren and Tim Bulman, as well as cornerback Ross Ventrone. Both Bulman and Ventrone were long shots to make the team, while Warren had been out with an injury since Aug. 8.

Also not surprising was the team's decision to move defensive lineman Myron Pryor and tight end Jake Ballard to reserve/PUP, while transferring rookie offensive lineman Markus Zusevics to reserve/NFI. All will be eligible to return as soon as Week 7.

WELCOMING BACK AN OLD FACE -- Diehard Patriots fans might recognize Kerry Taylor's name, as he had a weeklong stint on the Patriots' practice squad last September. The 23-year-old receiver was claimed off waivers from the Vikings on Monday. He provides an extra receiver for the team's preseason finale, and while a long shot to make it past final cuts on Friday, could return to the practice squad on Saturday.

Mike Rodak

ESPN Buffalo Bills reporter

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