NFL Roster Cuts: 5 Players New England Patriots Could Have Cut

Alex Hall@@AlexKHallCorrespondent IIISeptember 6, 2011

NFL Roster Cuts: 5 Players New England Patriots Could Have Cut

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    Like all other NFL teams, the New England Patriots were forced to cut their 80-man roster down to 53 for the start of the season.  But that doesn't mean there weren't others who could have been cut.

    Safety Brandon Meriweather was by far the biggest and most surprising axe from the Pats' roster but many could make the argument there were a few other players who deserved the proverbial boot more than him.

    Here's an additional list of players who the Patriots could have shown the door this past week.

Ron Brace

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    Not much has been heard on the Ron Brace front after his concussion that landed him on the injured reserve list last season.

    Brace was a second round draft pick in 2009 but has proven little to his team since then.

    He failed to practice all through training camp this season and missed much of last season when he was healthy due to failing the conditioning test.

    It's hard to call it quits on such a high draft pick, but with injuries and poor conditioning preventing Brace from even taking the field, let him be a underachieving project for some other team.

Julian Edelman

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    Don't get me wrong, Julian Edelman has produced for the Patriots when called upon.  But the receiving corps is just too crowded for him to shine.

    With the addition of Chad Ochocinco as well as returning starters Deion Branch and Wes Welker eating up touches, Edelman has little room to produce and showcase his ability.

    While his talent is certainly there, Edelman simply isn't a huge factor in the Patriots' passing attack.

Darius Butler

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    Another injury-struck player for New England last season was cornerback Darius Butler, who was slated to play opposite Leigh Bodden at the beginning of the 2010 season.

    While his pass coverage has been suspect, one thing at which Butler has been consistent is penalties. 

    From 2009-2010, the defensive back has been penalized for a combined 146 yards, which ranks fifth among all NFL players at that position.

    If Butler doesn't come back and have himself a productive and yellow-flag free season, you can expect coach Bill Belichick to show him the door.

Albert Haynesworth

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    I can understand the reasoning behind keeping Albert Haynesworth, but he isn't out of the woods just for making the 53-man roster.

    Haynesworth can certainly be viewed as overrated at the defensive tackle position, and public opinion went nowhere but down about this guy after heading to Washington.

    However, he's still an above average talent at his position and a very big man that can clog up a running lane pretty easily.

    Still, if the former highly-touted free agent can't produce what the coaching staff is hoping to get out of him, there's no reason he couldn't find himself a former New England Patriot as well.

Chad Ochocinco

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    While it's still too early to judge whether Chad Ochocinco will be productive this regular season, he was anything but during exhibition play.

    Through three preseason games, the former Cincinnati Bengals wideout logged a combined three catches for 23 yards and one touchdown.

    The touchdown makes that stat line look a whole lot better than it is, but it's hard to argue against three catches in three games still being lackluster even in limited play.

    Ochocinco may not be the prolific No. 1 receiver like he used to be earlier in his career, but there's reason to believe he can turn it around when the games start to matter this weekend.

    Still, if he starts to show more of his age over promise, Julian Edelman is waiting in the wings to cut into the controversial receiver's playing time.