On the cuts heard 'round the world

On the cuts heard 'round the world
August 31, 2012, 7:21 pm
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"We, uhhh, kept the 53 players that we think give us the best chance to win next Sunday."
Bill Belichick, I assume, at some point this afternoon.

But not even the eventual Belichick treatment will kill the buzz surrounding an eventful cut day over in Foxboro.

First of all, Brian Hoyer's a goner, which means that Ryan "The NFL's Eminem" Mallett is now the Patriots back-up quarterback. This is interesting because I think we all thought that Mallet had another year before he was "back-up ready," but at the same time, I'm not sure how much it matters. Mallett? Hoyer? If it's not Tom Brady, the Pats are in trouble.

Dan Koppen's gone, too. Same goes for Deion Branch. Neither are a huge surprise, but there's definitely some nostalgia involved with watching them go. For instance, how about this: With today's cuts, plus the LightFaulk retirements, Brady and Vince Wilfork are the only two guys left on the roster who have won a Super Bowl with the Pats. When the hell did that happen?

(That is, until they re-sign Hank Poteat)

The other big name (or certainly the hardest to spell) to be released was James Ihedigbo. The UMASS grad came out of nowhere last season to become one of the most likable guys on the team. He brought it every Sunday (and usually separated his shoulder in the process). I'm sorry to see him go, but you know that he'll catch on somewhere if not back with the Pats. And really, can't you say that about all these guys?

Well, maybe not Hoyer. But would you be surprised if Branch, Koppen andor Ihedigbo end up back in New England at some point this year? I'll be more surprised if they don't. But at any rate, they're gone for now. Victims of Patriots "Cut Day" as they trim down to 53.

"The, uhhh, the 53 players that give us the best chance to win next Sunday."

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine