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Road to 53, final version – Some last-minute changes and M. Brown stays

(Adam Richins for BSJ)

Going to get this up right now before too much happens, and then I'll continue to add my explanations/thoughts:

Changes/thoughts:

  • John to IR: Just a guess, but I'm moving Ulrick John to injured reserve as it looked like he tore his Achilles against the Giants. That's too bad. He had a great camp and was my favorite for the four tackle role.
  • Croston replaces John on roster: With John out, I could have just gone with Matt Tobin — and Lord knows his experience as a jumbo tight end in Seattle might push him over the top because the Patriots can't win a Super Bowl without the Cam Flemings of the world on the field — but for now I'm going with Cole Croston because even though he hasn't shown anything on the field for two years, Dante Scarnecchia likes him. Scar needs his annual Cam Fleming/Jordan Devey as the guy we can't figure out how he's on this roster. Tobin is a much better player right now than Croston. Actually, Croston replaces James Ferentz, who is a better player and I'm choosing not to put a fourth tackle on the roster right now. Croston can play both. Not well, but he can play both
  • Malcom Brown pulled off the trade market: I know I'm going regret pulling this back — I always had an annual Stick to your guns! moment — but after seeing Vincent Valentine play the entire fourth game, the writing is on the wall. If I could note it as, "Patriots try to trade Brown/Valentine but if no takers then Valentine is released and Brown stays" I would.
  • The way someone explained it to me, the Patriots aren't likely to get close to the compensation pick (a third- or fourth-round pick should Brown walk after the season), so they might as well hold onto him and recoup some of their failed value (first-round pick) for Brown.
  • Jason McCourty to safety, Duke Dawson back to cornerback: Cosmetic change. Doesn't really mean much. I still think McCourty makes this team. Belichick loves him. He kept David Harris around for no reason.
  • I'm not buying Bill Belichick's flowery words about Cyrus Jones on Friday's conference call. That's usually the kiss of death.
  • I'd rather have Keion Crossen, and Jones hasn't shown anything when he's returned kicks (was caught from behind by scrubs on Friday night). Rather have Riley McCarron do it and look for better later.