The New England Patriots will be prompted to make difficult choices in regard to roster cuts, which may threaten these three on-the-bubble players.
As the New England Patriots make their way through OTA offseason workouts, the team does so with a loaded roster. By the end of the summer, the Patriots will have to whittle their roster down to about half to adhere to NFL regulations, turning a 90-player offseason roster into a 53-player lineup.
This means a majority of New England’s players competing in camp will be jostling for a roster spot, and about half won’t make the final cut. Some players will be let go in favor of newly-drafted rookies and free agent acquisitions, while others will lose a place to an undrafted player fighting to stay on the team.
The team may continue to keep some of those players on the brink in hopes of future development, perhaps on the practice squad. Others will be let go because they could not deliver in camp, continuing the journey on the free agent market.
For various reasons, players at each position could lose their jobs come August — except Matthew Slater, of course.
Here are three current Patriots players who may not be on the 53-player roster on opening weekend.
3 New England Patriots who won’t be on the roster by opening weekend
3. J.J. Taylor, RB
A consistent fan of the run game, the New England Patriots have zeroed in on several running backs to get their offense off the ground. Rhamondre Stevenson leads the running back room as a versatile, capable three-down back, but the Patriots have still fortified their roster with James Robinson. Additionally, the Patriots drafted Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris in 2022.
Taylor first signed with the Patriots in 2020 as an undrafted free agent, then joined the practice squad after training camp that year. By Week 1, Taylor was upgraded to the active roster and saw his NFL debut in Week 1 in 2020. Through 2020 and 2021, Taylor played in 11 games and rushed 38 times for 147 yards. Taylor spent most of the 2022 season on the practice squad, and he signed a reserve/future contract this January.
Taylor has already spent three seasons in New England, and while he has discernible talent and speed, he still hasn’t managed to become a consistent feature in the running back room. His current contract will bring him through training camp, but considering the success of Stevenson, the signing of Robinson and the development of Strong and Harris, it’s likely that there won’t be room for Taylor come September.