FOXBORO -- Meetings at Gillette Stadium began at noon on Friday and the roster started getting shaved down to 53 men shortly thereafter.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer was cut, as confirmed by Tom Curran.
The Boston Globe reports C Dan Koppen, WR Deion Branch, and S James Ihedigbo were also released.
The loss of Koppen isn't surprising considering his struggles this training camp and the three-year, 9.7 million contract Dan Connolly signed in March. But the move does signal an end of an era. The 32-year old center was in New England for the nine seasons since he being drafted out of Boston College.
Hoyer has been Tom Brady's backup since 2009. In 13 games over that span, he went 27-for-43 for 286 yards and one touchdown.
Branch could be back. The receiver has spent six of his 10 NFL seasons in New England and has a valuable on-field connection with Brady. Last season, at 32, Branch started all 15 of the games he played. He had 51 catches for 702 yards and five touchdowns.
Ihedigbo's production in 2011 was limited a shoulder injury. But the 6-1, 214-pound safety did manage a career-high 46 tackles and one pass defensed for the Patriots.
Multiple reports have noted the axing of DB Derrick Martin and DEOLB Aaron Lavarias.