Three open roster spots, so what's next?

May, 19, 2014
May 19
10:30
AM ET
With the Patriots agreeing to terms with Maine receiver Derrick Johnson on Sunday, there are now 87 players on the team's roster. The limit is 90, which leaves three open spots.

Two thoughts to consider:

Might as well wait on a veteran signing until June 1. Because veteran players signed after June 1 don't count against the compensatory pick formula for next year, the Patriots might as well wait another two weeks if they are eyeing a more experienced player. Tight end Dustin Keller, as previously mentioned, would be one example to come to mind. That's the top position we think the team would like to address in some form.

Taking a closer look at linebackers. As Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported, the Patriots had veteran linebackers James Anderson (Bears), Stevenson Sylvester (Steelers), and Marvin Mitchell (Vikings) in for tryouts late last week. The 30-year-old Anderson (6-2, 235), who played for the Panthers from 2006-2012, started all 16 games for the Bears last season and was credited with 102 tackles and four sacks. The 25-year-old Sylvester (6-2, 231) was mostly a reserve for the Steelers over the last four seasons. The 29-year-old Mitchell (6-3, 249) started 10 games for the Vikings last season, and the Patriots have a semi tie-in with him on their staff with first-year coach Brendan Daly coming over from Minnesota. While this could simply be a case of due diligence, one could also view it as a sign that the Patriots hope to add to their linebacker depth as well. If so, it seems likely the Patriots would wait until after June 1 to make any move.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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