I wonder how much Bill Belichick is factoring in a potential 2016 compensatory draft choice when considering Ryan Mallett’s standing on the roster. Mallett’s contract expires after the 2014 season, and he’ll almost certainly sign elsewhere, a move that will count in the Patriots’ favor in the compensatory pick formula.
Notes on the Patriots (initial) 53-Man Roster

There are sure to be some more moves coming over the next day or so, but the New England Patriots initial 53-man roster has taken shape with no major surprises (yet).

The biggest thing appears that the Pats wanted to protect 10 offensive linemen. Not all 10 will likely be on the roster by Tuesday, but the Pats prevented another team from swooping in an taking one of their guys at this point. Clearly with much uncertainty upfront, it makes sense to try and hang on to as many guys who are experienced in the system as possible.

Still, Barker or Devey is likely next to go once a long snapper is signed, but it will be easier to get them on the practice squad today/tomorrow than if they had been released on Saturday.

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2014 New England Patriots

Good read from FoPP’er Alen Dumonjic.

Tom Brady tries on a new helmet!

Tom Brady tries on a new helmet!

Patriots Depth Chart

This is far from set even when the Pats do get to 53 guys. I’ll be updating it as the moves come in. 

1:30pm EST update: So far, surprised the Beauharnais and Worthy were cut, otherwise most were pretty expected. Linebacker and defensive end depth are pretty thin right now. More moves sure to come…

4:30pm EST update - Danny Aiken is the last cut and it looks like they’ll find a long snapper sometime in the next couple of days. Things remain fluid, but for now the Pats are down to 53 guys. Lean and mean.

The Best of the Week in PatsPropaganda

Here it is, cutdown Saturday, the start of a crazy Labor Day weekend sure to have a number of moves that shock the assumptions of even the most astute Patriots followers.

It’s also the last weekend before football is back and time to put another offseason in the rearview mirror to enjoy the best time of year — the start of football season.

Lots of great stuff coming this week including the return of the PatsProapaganda & Frenz Podcast (yay), the announcement of the weekly schedule this year along with some other special announcements that will have me giving away a TON of Pats-related goodies this year.

The first part of our weekly schedule is Saturday’s Best Of post, featuring anything of interest you might’ve missed. I’ll be checking in throughout the day as the final cuts come down.

Here’s the best of the last week of the offseason.

MMQB/Andy Benoit - Patriots Preview

PatsPropaganda - 2014 Training Camp Awards

PatsPropaganda - Final 53-Man Roster Prediction: Sure to be completely wrong in a matter of minutes.

SarahFit.com - Patriots Premiere Review: My sisters had a chance to check out the Patriots Premiere in my place and got to meet a lot of Pats!

ESPNBoston.com - Patriots Preview

MMQB/Greg A. Bedard - Mankins-Wright Trade Analysis

PatsPropaganda - My Mankins Trade Analysis

PatsPropaganda - Future Should Start Now With Garoppolo

Must-read stuff from Andy Benoit.

What do you think will be our biggest weakness this year? Receiving court, pass rush, pass protection, secondary...?

Great question.

1. Interior OL - This was a concern for me when Mankins was still on the team so it’s still a significant one. I think that my predicted OL of Solder-Kline-Wendell-Connolly-Vollmer will be fine. 4/5ths of them have played together the last two seasons and while they had their struggles at times, they were a very good group, especially in run blocking last year. Even without Mankins I don’t see that falling off a whole lot.

The question will be can the interior OL pass block the tough DLs on the big stages? The Jets for one will present a big challenge in that area. Hopefully Stork and Halapio progress in season, I think Stork especially could singlehandedly upgrade this area.

2. Depth on the Edge - If Ninkovich and Chandler stay healthy the edges of the defense will be a strength. If one or both gets dinged, things will get very dicey. This is a critical area and one where I am genuinely concerned, but let’s just not think about injuries until we’re forced to.

Those are really it. I think they have the best array of pass rushers that they’ve had in a long time, especially on the interior, an area I’ve been harping about since this blog started. They also have perhaps their most promising group of weapons since 2007. Depth is as solid as you could hope everywhere except DE and LB.

If they can stay healthy and stop the pressure up the middle in the big games, the sky is the limit.