Patriots Finalize 53-Man Roster With Flurry of Last-Minute Moves

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The Patriots parted with a young quarterback, and added a young receiver, defensive end and cornerback to help set their 53-man roster for the start of the regular season.

Probably New England's biggest move Saturday was trading third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for receiver Phillip Dorsett.

The addition Dorsett — a 2015 first-round draft pick — addressed one of the few holes on offense for the defending Super Bowl champions, who have little turnaround time before hosting Kansas City in their regular-season opener on Thursday night.

Specifically, it gave the Patriots a more depth at receiver with Julian Edelman out for the season with a knee injury.

The Patriots sent undisclosed draft picks to Seattle for defensive end Cassius Marsh, and traded another draft pick to Detroit for cornerback Johnson Bademosi. Marsh was a fourth-round draft pick in 2014 and Bademosi was an undrafted free agent in 2012.

With only on main roster reduction, the deals were examples of what Patriots coach Bill Belichick predicted earlier in the day would be a fluid process at teams shopped around for available players to supplement their rosters.

"It's competitive for all of us. I mean, it's kind of like draft day," he said. "It's not really about friendships or not friendships. You look at the draft board, you see a team you want to trade with, if it works for them and it works for you, you make the deal."

The Brissett trade also signified comfort by Belichick to begin the season with only backup Jimmy Garoppolo behind Tom Brady as the 40-year-old enters his 18th NFL season.

Brissett, a third-round draft pick in 2016, boosted his stock last season when he went 1-1 in two starts during Brady's four-game "Deflategate" suspension. His skillset was also on display in New England's final preseason game against the New York Giants, when he threw for four touchdowns and ran for another.

Dorsett will join a receiver group that is still loaded even without Edelman. Along with offseason trade acquisition of Brandin Cooks, the Patriots receiving corps also will include Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell.

Edelman will begin the season on injured reserve, along with cornerback Cyrus Jones (knee), and rookie defensive end Derek Rivers. Offensive lineman Andrew Jelks, defensive lineman Keionta Davis and rookie offensive lineman Tony Garcia were all placed on the reserve/non-football illness list.

The Patriots kept four undrafted free agents, hanging onto tight end Jacob Hollister, defensive lineman Adam Butler, linebacker Harvey Langi, and offensive lineman Cole Croston.

Among the key cuts were running back and special teamer Brandon Bolden, who had been with Patriots since 2012, offensive lineman Ted Karras, undrafted free agent receiver Austin Carr and running back D.J. Foster.

Carr became a cut casualty after the Patriots added Dorsett. Foster's prospects of making the roster dimmed after a need at cornerback was created when Cyrus Jones suffered a knee injury during the Patriots' preseason finale.

The addition of Marsh could help fill New England's need at edge rusher after Rivers was sidelined with an injury. Bademosi gives New England some depth in the secondary with Jones out.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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