Bill can be pretty unforgiving when it comes to roster cut-downs when the preseason ends. There are always a few veterans that are expected to make an impact that don’t even make it to the regular season. Sometimes they don’t even make it through camp. Here are a few guys that may have been on the bubble for the last few years, and some new additions that might not make the cut.
1. Demaryius Thomas – Thomas is coming off of a torn achillies, which is never easy to come back from for anybody. There are no guarantees he will be the same after rehabbing this injury. They were extra cautious with his contract as well, and if he can’t make the roster they hardly owe him anything. He could be a huge addition to make this receiving corp the best in the league, but he could also be Joey Galloway 2.0.
2. Rex Burkhead – Burkhead comes in with some stiff competition this season. They drafted Damien Harris, and Sony Michel and James White aren’t going anywhere. It really depends on how strongly Bill feels about keeping Brandon Bolden for his special teams this season. Burkhead has had trouble staying consistently healthy, and hasn’t really had his own role in the offense. He has been able to play multiple roles depending on other running backs being hurt, which does help his case to keep his roster spot.
3. Derek Rivers – Rivers was a guy they drafted a few years ago who has stuck around but also has has trouble staying on the field. He has a ton of potential to be a disruptive pass rusher, but hasn’t brought the fire a guy like Deatrich Wise has. Wise hasn’t exactly made a huge impact either, but more than Rivers has. This might be his last opportunity to prove himself, especially with the loss of Trey Flowers.
4. Phillip Dorsett – Dorsett has kind of been on this list the last few years. It was unclear what role he would play after he was acquired through trade, and really did nothing his first season here. Last season he proved himself as an asset on this offense and a receiver Brady can trust. He made catches in huge situations, like the AFC Championship. There is a huge pool of talent this season though, and it really depends on who shows up. Edelman is a lock, and N’Keal Harry seems the next closest to the same. Free agent acquisitions like Dontrelle Inman and Maurice Harris could challenge him for his spot, as well as a guy like Braxton Berrios who gets his chance this year. The real question marks are Josh Gordon and Demariyus Thomas. They could make the difference if they show up in top form, or show up at all.
5. Elandon Roberts – Roberts, although not the biggest name on this list, he has been the most consistent starter. He has been a great run plugger for the team, but struggles mightily in pass coverage. The addition of Jamie Collins puts him on thin ice. Not to mention the chances of Ja’Whaun Bentley and Christian Sam coming back from injuries. They always seem to pick up an undrafted guy that impresses, and Terez Hall could be that guy. Elandon Roberts may find himself on the chopping block this coming season, but he won’t make it an easy choice.
-Jake Kobierski (@TheRealKobe83)