In order for the Patriots to meet the league required 53 player limit on their active roster, the Patriots had to submit their list of cut players to the league by 9pm on Friday evening. The list included two big surprises, WR Deion Branch, and QB Brian Hoyer. Branch had 51 receptions for 702 yards in 2011 as a member of the New England Patriots, and is known for being a quality leader on the team, so seeing his name on the list of cut players is a big surprise to not just us, but everywhere other than the Patriots front office. With the additions of TE Visanthe Shiancoe, and WR Brandon Lloyd this offseason, the Patriots were poised to have one of the most feared group of receivers which also includes Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, and Wes Welker. However, Bill Belichick and the Patriots front office didn’t think Branch deserved a spot on the final roster.
The other surprising cut was QB Brian Hoyer, for the past three seasons he has been groomed by the Patriots to be the backup in the event that, God forbid, Tom Brady goes down. Instead of Hoyer, the position of being Brady’s contingency plan will belong to Ryan Mallett.
For the complete list of cuts made by the Patriots for the 2012 season, please see the following: WR Deion Branch, DB Sergio Brown, OL Derek Dennis, WR Jeremy Ebert, DL Marcus Harrison, WR Jesse Holley, QB Brian Hoyer, DB James Ihedigbo, FB Eric Kettani, OL Matt Kopa, OL Dan Koppen, LB Niko Koutouvides, DE Aaron Lavarias, DB Derrick Martin, TE Alex Silvestro, LB Jeff Tarpinian, WR Kerry Taylor, TE Tyler Urban, OL Dustin Waldron, OL Jeremiah Warren, OLDarrion Weems, and DB Malcolm Williams.