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Patriots make their cuts, with some surprises

Friday, August 31, 2012


It happens every season. A surprise or two make the New England Patriots' roster...which means, a surprise or two are cut.

According to multiple sources Friday afternoon, the Patriots have released backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and veteran wide receiver Deion Branch.

Hoyer had been considered Tom Brady's primary backup and a potential trade target before the news of his release.

Branch was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX for the Patriots, before moving to the Seattle Seahawks in a trade for a 2007 first round draft pick. He returned to the Patriots in 2010 as part of a deal that sent the Seahawks a fourth round draft pick. Branch caught 51 passes last season for 702 yards and five touchdowns, and was widely considered to have held onto a roster spot after the team released receivers Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth, both of whom the team had signed in the offseason.

Also released, according to several sources, were center Dan Koppen and safety James Ihedigbo, a UMass graduate. With Koppen and Branch released, only Brady and Vince Wilfork remain as players on the roster who have won Super Bowl rings with the Patriots. Other reports have the Patriots also releasing DB Derrick Martin and DE Aaron Lavarias, however neither player was expected to make the final cut. 21 total players were released Friday night to reach the maximum roster size of 53.

Here is the list of 22 players released:

WR Deion Branch
S Sergio Brown
DL Marcus Harrison
WR Jesse Holley
QB Brian Hoyer
S James Ihedigbo
OL Matt Kopa
C Dan Koppen
LB Niko Koutouvides
S Derrick Martin
LB Jeff Tarpinian
S Malcolm Williams

FB Eric Kettani
LB Aaron Lavarias
TE Alex Silvestro
WR Kerry Taylor.

WR Jeremy Ebert

OL Derek Dennis
TE Tyler Urban
OL Dustin Waldron
OL Jeremiah Warren
OL Darrion Weems


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