Patriots finally down to 53

Patriots finally down to 53
September 3, 2011, 11:21 pm
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran The Patriots officially announced the release of 15 players on Saturday. We kept you in the loop on most of them as the day went along. Here's the whole list: veterans -- DL Landon Cohen, LB Niko Koutouvides, S Brandon Meriweather, DE Eric Moore, RB Sammy Morris, WR Brandon Tate and WR Tiquan Underwood; first-year players -- OL Thomas Austin, RB Eric Kettani and DB Ross Ventrone and rookies, LB Markell Carter, DL Aaron Lavarias, DE Alex Silvestro, TE Lee Smith and TE Will Yeatman.The team also sent DL Ron Brace, RB Kevin Faulk and DL Brandon Deaderick to the PUP list. They'll be eligible to begin practicing with the team after Week 6. Marcus Cannon was placed on the reservenon-football injury list. Guard Rich Ohrnberger's season is over before it starts. He's on injured reserve. The day's biggest news was undeniably the release of Brandon Meriweather. Most could see the reasoning behind letting wideout Brandon Tate go. Sammy Morris was a bit of a surprise, but he's 34 and has diminishing value. Other than those moves, I'd have to say I'm most surprised they have released the rookie tight ends Yeatman and Smith. Both are big, strong, athletic blockers - 6-7 and 6-6 respectively - who showed surprisingly good hands. The team will no doubt love to get either or both back on their practice squad but will have to wait for them to pass through the league with nobody putting a claim in on them. The Patriots have just Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on the roster at tight end. As for guys making the team? Darius Butler wound up on the right side of the bubble. Despite speculation he might not, DL Gerard Warren did too. Undrafted free agent Jeff Tarpinian made the team at outside linebacker. The Patriots are light at safety, linebacker and guardcenter, as Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe points out in his well-done breakdown of the whole roster. The Patriots are likely going to remain busy through Sunday night. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran