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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
New England Patriots cut-down analysis

By Mike Reiss

Most significant move: On a day when nothing could trump the trade of veteran offensive lineman Logan Mankins, the one name that stood above the rest in terms of cuts is rookie defensive back Jemea Thomas. A sixth-round draft choice out of Georgia Tech (206th overall), Thomas is a versatile player who was expected to compete for a roster spot. After sustaining an injury on the first day of training camp and missing extended time, it set him back and he obviously never made up the lost ground. Perhaps the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Thomas could potentially return on the practice squad, depending on how things shake out with the rest of the roster. The Patriots have plenty of depth in the defensive backfield.

Revisiting Gaffney waiver claim: The Patriots were willing to carry injured rookie running back Tyler Gaffney on their 90-man roster until this cut-down day, and by officially moving him to injured reserve, it reminds us that the Panthers could have done the same if they wanted to keep their sixth-round pick. Gaffney factors into the running back mix in 2015, as the Patriots have three players on their current roster -- Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden -- who are scheduled to become free agents after this season.

What's next: With the roster at 75 players, the Patriots must trim to 53 with the rest of NFL teams on Aug. 30. They have their preseason finale Aug. 28 on the road against the Giants.

Patriots’ cuts: DL Ben Bass, DB Travis Hawkins, WR Derrick Johnson, LB Deontae Skinner, DB Jemea Thomas, WR Wilson Van Hooser

Patriots to injured reserve: RB Tyler Gaffney, LB Cameron Gordon