A day before the Patriots must pare down their roster to 53, New England has been busy cutting players from the squad.
The team announced, via its website, that 10 players have been realized on Friday a little more than 24 hours before the 53-man deadline.
The list of names includes Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells, Marcus Benard, Jonathan Haggerty, Mike Rivera, Luke Patterson, Ben Bartholomew, Gilbert Pena, Matt Stankiewitch and Scott Vallone.
Ballard, Fells and Benard are certainly the most surprising names on this list. Ballard, it appeared, was close to a lock to make the squad after the ordeal with Aaron Hernandez and Fells, while less secure, must have felt he would earn a place on a team that covets tight ends in the offenses.
Benard, as Mike Reiss notes, looked to be in the mix for a reserve spot or a place as an interior sub rusher.
With these cuts, the roster is now down to 65, a dozen short of the 53 that must be attained by 6 p.m. Saturday.
Nick Underhill of MassLive.com also reports that the Patriots have parted ways with Stephom Morris, a cornerback who re-signed with the Patriots just four days ago. A second hamstring injury during the final preseason game against the Giants was reportedly the key factor in his release.