So the Patriots worked out Plaxico Burress, eh?
Move along people, nothing to see here.
The Patriots – like many teams – work out all kinds of players of different skill level and ages all through training camp and even into the regular season. Director of player personnel Nick Caserio and his staff wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they sat there and didn’t evaluate available talent while they had the chance.
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Last training camp, the Patriots reportedly worked out T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Darren Sharper. The news picked up a lot of steam around the New England area, but eventually amounted to nothing. During that time, Caserio was asked about those procedures.
“We’re just doing our due diligence,” Caserio said back then, “we’re doing our homework, trying to stay prepared, trying to gather as much information as we can on the players, and if there’s an opportunity that makes sense for us than we’ll pursue it. It’s just part of I’d say standard operating procedure.”
The Patriots are already pretty stacked at the wide receiver position, and presumably already have one tough cut to make there. Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker are obviously safe, and Julian Edelman and Matt Slater do enough at other positions to earn a roster spot. That leaves Jabar Gaffney, Donte’ Stallworth, and Deion Branch – three players for what will most likely be two more available spots.
And not to put Burress in the same head-case class as Chad Johnson, but didn’t the Pats just get rid of a wide receiver with a few question marks attached to his name?
It’s no secret that Patriots QB Tom Brady plays “favorites”, and it just so happens that with the return of Stallworth and Gaffney, all his favorites seems to be on this year’s team. We saw how hesitant he was to go to Johnson last season, who seemingly couldn’t grasp the offense. Johnson became nothing more than a wasted roster spot for an entire season.
The Patriots currently have 90 roster spots for camp. It sounds like a lot, but wasting even one on a player or position of little need isn’t in their agenda.