The Patriots have signed former Boston College offensive lineman Matt Tennant to the 53-man roster, according to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. The 25-year-old Tennant was a fifth-round pick of the Saints in 2010, and it's believed that the 6-foot-5, 300-pounder can play either guard or center.

 

With the understanding that things can change between now and the start of the regular season, here are a few thoughts on what was a whirlwind day for the Patriots and their roster:



 

The Patriots released 22 players today. In addition, the team placed rookie free agent running back Jeff Demps on injured reserve. Demps was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 17.

The Patriots released 12 veterans: wide receiver Deion Branch, safety Sergio Brown, defensive lineman Marcus Harrison, wide receiver Jesse Holley, quarterback Brian Hoyer, safety James Ihedigbo, offensive lineman Matt Kopa, center Dan Koppen, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, safety Derrick Martin, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and safety Malcolm Williams.

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on The Big Show, discussing cutdown day with Pete Sheppard and and Kirk Minihane. The Patriots made some surprising moves Friday in releasing the likes of quarterback Brian Hoyer and wide receiver Deion Branch, some Mayo said is never easy to see. 

Stevan Ridley, Pat Chung, Brandon Spikes and Tracy White returned to practiced on Friday afternoon, as the Patriots were back on the practice field in full pads.

The following players were not spotted at the start of practice: Kyle Love, Jesse Holley, Sergio Brown, Shane Vereen, Jeff Demps, Tyler Urban, Nick McDonald, Matt Kopa, Sebastian Vollmer, Visanthe Shiancoe, Niko Koutouvides and Marcus Harrison.

The Patriots have released defensive back Derrick Martin, according to a league source. The 27-year-old Martin, who has been in the league for six seasons, signed with the Patriots on Aug. 4. The 5-foot-10, 198-pound defensive back had 12 tackles in 14 games last season for the Giants.

To this point, the Patriots have released Martin, wide receiver Deion Branch, quarterback Brian Hoyer, offensive lineman Dan Koppen and defensive back James Ihedigbo in their attempts to get down to 53 players before the league-mandated deadline, Friday at 9 p.m.

The Patriots released wide receiver Deion Branch, per Shalise Manza-Young of The Boston Globe. The 33-year-old Branch has played 10 years in the NFL, including the better part of six seasons with the Patriots. The 5-foot-9, 195-pound Branch had 51 catches for 702 yards and five touchdowns last season.

As of Friday at 1:30 p.m., the Patriots have released Branch, quarterback Brian Hoyer, offensive lineman Dan Koppen and defensive back James Ihedigbo in their attempt to get down to 53 players before the league-mandated deadline of Friday at 9 p.m.

The Patriots have started their cuts, releasing quarterback Brian Hoyer, offensive lineman Dan Koppen and defensive back James Ihedigbo, according to league sources and various reports.

Koppen, 32, has been with the Patriots since 2003, when he was drafted out of Boston College. The former Pro Bowler has started 120 regular-season games over the course of his career in New England and was a member of the 2003 and 2004 Super Bowl champions. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder had struggled over the course of the summer but had played better as of late.

FOXBORO -- Patriots linebacker and special teams player Dane Fletcher said Friday that he will have surgery on his injured left knee next week. The linebacker tore his ACL during the team's preseason opener on Aug. 9 against the Saints during punt coverage. Fletcher was immediately placed on injury waivers by the team and cleared before the team claimed him back 24 hours later and placed him on injured reserve. 

Driving back from MetLife Stadium in the dead of night after the Patriots' preseason finale on Wednesday, a dismal 6-3 loss to the Giants, I realized several things: The George Washington Bridge is beautiful at 1:30 in the morning.



MIKE PETRAGLIA

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