New England Patriots: Greg Salas

Catching up with former Patriots, Week 13

December, 4, 2013
12/04/13
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Every Wednesday during the season, we'll lead off the day with a quick recap of notable former New England Patriots players and their standing with new teams.

Jake Ballard (Cardinals)
Tight end plays four offensive snaps and six on special teams in a 24-21 road loss to the Eagles. Doesn't register on the stat sheet.
Season snapshot: Has been with the Cardinals for four games since signing Nov. 4, playing 53 of 281 snaps and totaling two catches for 44 yards.

Chung
Patrick Chung (Eagles)
Safety starts and plays all 71 snaps in a 24-21 home win over the Cardinals. Has one pass defended.
Season snapshot: Has started six of 12 games and is credited with 36 tackles.

Jermaine Cunningham (Jets)
Outside linebacker plays six defensive snaps and 11 on special teams in a 23-3 home loss to the Dolphins. Doesn't register on the stat sheet.
Season snapshot: Spent the month of October with the 49ers but never appeared in a game. Signed with the Jets on Nov. 20. He dressed Nov. 24 but didn't play, so the Dolphins game was his debut.

Brandon Deaderick (Jaguars)
Defensive tackle plays 23 of 75 snaps in 32-28 road win over the Browns. Totals one tackle.
Season snapshot: Has played 288 total snaps, totaling eight tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and one pass defended.

A.J. Francis (Dolphins)
Defensive tackle is inactive in a 23-3 road win over the Jets.
Season snapshot: Signed off the Patriots' practice squad Nov. 26,

Kyle Love (Chiefs)
Defensive tackle is inactive in a 35-28 home loss to the Broncos.
Season snapshot: After spending training camp with the Jaguars and being released before the season opener, he signed with the Chiefs on Nov. 19. Appeared in one game, playing two snaps, before being waived Dec. 3.

Greg Salas (Jets)
Receiver is targeted four times and makes one catch in a 23-3 home loss to the Dolphins. Plays 30 of 55 snaps.
Season snapshot: In four games with the Jets since making his debut Nov. 3, he has seven catches for 137 yards. Has played 118 of 231 offensive snaps in those games.

Zach Sudfeld (Jets)
Plays seven snaps on offense and 15 on special teams but doesn't register on the stat sheet.
Season snapshot: Tight end has played 103 offensive snaps in seven games. Has four catches for 56 yards.

Jeff Tarpinian (Texans)
Linebacker plays in a reserve role in a 34-31 home loss to the Patriots, totaling two tackles and a half-sack. Plays 27 of 70 snaps.
Season snapshot: After signing with the Texans on Oct. 28, has played in four games, totaling 12 tackles on defense. Has played 92 of 271 defensive snaps.

Washington
Leon Washington (Titans)
Wearing No. 26, he is the primary kickoff returner and punt returner in a 22-14 road loss to the Colts, totaling three kickoff returns for 78 yards (26.0 avg.) and two punt returns for 43 yards (21.5 avg.), with two fair catches. Doesn't play on offense.
Season snapshot: Released by the Patriots on Nov. 23; signed with the Titans on Nov. 26.

Wes Welker (Broncos)
Receiver finishes with three catches for 38 yards as his presence draws attention and opens things up for fellow receiver Eric Decker to have a big day in a 35-28 road win over the Chiefs. Plays 63 of 70 snaps.
Season snapshot: Has played 722 of 906 offensive snaps (79.6 percent), and has 68 catches for 717 yards and nine touchdowns.

Danny Woodhead (Chargers)
Running back has seven carries for 22 yards and adds two catches for 13 yards in a 17-10 home loss to the Bengals. Plays 27 of 65 snaps.
Season snapshot: Has 61 receptions for 482 yards and five TDs, and has carried the ball 77 times for 288 yards and two TDs. Has played 384 offensive snaps.

Others: Colts starting guard Donald Thomas landed on season-ending injured reserve in Week 2. ... Defensive end Trevor Scott played four games (54 snaps) with the Buccaneers before he was released Oct. 24. ... Punter Zoltan Mesko was released by the Steelers on Oct. 29 after appearing in seven games and ranking 31st in punting average (42.5) and 29th in net punting average (36.7). ... Quarterback Brian Hoyer started two games for the Browns, leading them to two wins, before tearing his ACL in his third start and landing on season-ending injured reserve.

What's next for Deion Branch?

November, 17, 2012
11/17/12
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This isn't the first time this season that the New England Patriots have released wide receiver Deion Branch, but the circumstances are different this time around.

The Patriots cut the 33-year-old veteran on Saturday, clearing a roster spot for practice squad receiver Greg Salas, who effectively pushed Branch off the roster when he was acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Rams on Labor Day weekend.

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This time, Branch will be subject to waivers, since the NFL's trading deadline has passed. All 31 other teams will have a chance to claim him by 4 p.m. Monday.

Teams who could eye Branch as a veteran solution at receiver for the stretch run will be considering two factors: (a) Is Branch healthy? He was added to Thursday's injury report with a hamstring injury, which is believed to play a role in his release, and (b) Is he still an effective receiver, especially without the added benefit of his chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady?

From this perspective, most teams will answer "no" to one or both of those questions, and pass on claiming him.

But if a team decided to pick up Branch off waivers, it would be economical. He is earning the veteran minimum salary of $925,000, which prorated over the final six games would cost a team only $326,471.

In September, Branch told the Boston Herald that there had been "communication" with other teams after he was released, but he ended up re-signing with the Patriots shortly thereafter. Whether there will be interest from teams two months later is unclear.

Further, it is not known if the Patriots view the latest Salas-for-Branch swap to be permanent. Salas was the highest-paid player on the practice squad, earning slightly more than the active roster minimum ($465,001). At this point, he may stay on the roster for the foreseeable future as insurance for Wes Welker and Julian Edelman, who have a similar playing style but are both in the final seasons of their contract.

It would be premature to rule out a Branch return even if Salas remains on the roster. But if Branch goes unclaimed, he may not re-sign with New England until his hamstring injury is cleared up, if his return is in the cards at all.

Analysis on Talib, Branch moves

November, 17, 2012
11/17/12
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A few quick-hit thoughts on the Patriots' roster moves Saturday -- activating cornerback Aqib Talib to the 53-man roster, promoting receiver Greg Salas from the practice squad, and waiving receiver Deion Branch (hamstring) and defensive back Malcolm Williams (thigh):

1. No surprise on Talib. On Friday, defensive backs Kyle Arrington and Steve Gregory touched on how quickly Talib had picked up the team's defense. Talib has also impressed with his instincts in practice. The question was never whether Talib would be activated for the game; it's more how much he will play. The early indication is that we can expect to see Talib quite a bit Sunday vs. the Colts.

2. Branch's hamstring forces move. Branch was coming off arguably his best game of the season but he showed up on the injury report Thursday. Another team can claim him -- others had the chance to sign him at the start of the year when he was cut before the season opener (he was re-signed by the Patriots after Week 2) -- but his health makes that a tricky situation. With Branch, Brandon Lloyd (knee) and Wes Welker (ankle) also on the injury report, more depth at receiver was needed. As long as Branch isn't claimed by another team, which seems unlikely, he would seemingly be primed to return to the team in future weeks.

3. Time to see what Salas can do. The Patriots obviously liked second-year receiver Greg Salas and his potential, or they wouldn't have traded a seventh-round draft choice to acquire him from the Rams. Yet they ran into a numbers crunch early in the year and waived him, then were pleased to bring him back on the practice squad and ultimately increase his salary to a level as if he were on the active roster. One local reporter predicted that Salas could total 61 receptions this season, and for those doing the math, Salas will need to average 8.7 catches per game (insert joke on the short reporter from ESPNBoston.com here).

4. Williams has a return ticket to practice squad. Second-year player Malcolm Williams still has practice squad eligibility and the Patriots have two open spots after promoting Salas and releasing receiver Jarred Fayson on Saturday.

Source: Patriots triple Salas' salary

October, 12, 2012
10/12/12
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Wide receiver Greg Salas, a member of the Patriots' practice squad, recently had his salary raised to $465,001, up from $149,600, a league source confirmed.

Practice squad players, who are paid weekly during the course of the regular season, have a minimum salary of $5,700 per week. Salas was previously being paid at a rate of $8,800 on a weekly basis, and will now receive $27,353 per week.

The raise could be due to a number of factors, and it's possible that Salas had an offer from another team to sign with its active roster. Practice squad players are eligible to sign with another club's active roster at any time, and must remain on the active roster for at least three weeks if they choose to do so.

The Patriots employed this tactic in December 2011, when they increased the salary of practice squad defensive end/outside linebacker Markell Carter, who had an offer from another team to sign with its active roster. Carter was released this offseason.

In earning a raise with New England, it appears that the team believes in Salas as a developmental prospect who could be groomed within their offensive system going forward.

Salas, a fourth-round pick in the 2011 draft by the Rams, was acquired by the Patriots via trade on Sept. 1, before being waived by the team on Sept. 18 after its second regular-season game. He was subsequently re-signed to the practice squad on Sept. 20.

The news was first reported by NYJetsCap.com on Twitter.

Source: Salas returning to practice squad

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
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Wide receiver Greg Salas, who was waived on Tuesday, will return to the Patriots' practice squad, according to a league source.

Salas cleared waivers on Wednesday. The 24-year old was acquired in a Sept. 1 trade for a late-round draft choice in 2015.

He did not play in the regular-season opener and was inactive on Sunday's loss to Arizona.

Source: Pats release Salas, Rivera, Hilliard

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
5:19
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The Patriots have released wide receiver Greg Salas, linebacker Mike Rivera and fullback Lex Hilliard, according to a league source.

Salas, who was inactive during Week 2, was acquired via trade from the Rams on Sept. 1. In exchange, the Patriots shipped St. Louis a seventh-round pick in 2015.

Rivera, 26, was signed to the Patriots' practice squad in November 2011 and found a spot on the 53-man roster this season. He has played a special teams role in each of the team's two regular-season contests.

The team added Hilliard leading up the regular-season opener and served in a situational fullback role. Hilliard played four of the team's 82 offensive snaps in Week 2.

In addition to the roster moves, the Patriots hosted seven players for a work out on Tuesday: defensive tackle Antonio Dixon, offensive tackle Tommie Draheim, defensive tackle Terrell McClain, offensive tackle Nick Mondek, wide receiver Kashif Moore, wide receiver Brian Robiskie and linebacker Nathan Stupar.

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