Walter Among Six Early Cuts
The Patriots have released six players after Thursday night's game against the Giants. Among the cuts was veteran backup quarterback Andrew Walter
The team announced the moves via Twitter on Friday."Patriots announce the release of Andrew Walter, Billy Yates, Roderick Rogers, Steve Williams, Vinny Ciurciu and Robert Ortiz," the Tweet read.
The decision to cut Walter is a curious move coming the same week the Patriots released second year backup Kevin O'Connell. Neither O'Connell nor Walter looked good in the games they played during the preseason.
The move leaves New England with just one quarterback behind Tom Brady, undrafted rookie free agent acquisition Brian Hoyer.
Hoyer had a solid outing against the Giants on Thursday night, competing 18 of 25 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown.
Walter finished the preseason completing 5 of 9 passes for 62 yards, no TDs and no INTs. He was also sacked once fro -6 yards.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn't rule out a possible trade for a veteran quarterback after releasing Walter.
"We'll have to wait and see what our different options are, not only what players are available in one way or another, but also in terms of how we want to manage our roster," Belichick said Friday.
Belichick wouldn't rule a move out to get someone else on the roster behind Brady besides Hoyer.
"I'd say it's a possibility, not a certainty," Belichick said. "We'll just evaluate it on a case-by-case basis as to how we feel the best makeup of our roster this year will be."
Belichick felt Walter stil had something to offer, but just not what the Patriots need for this season.
"I think Andrew [Walter] had a lot of positives and we talked about those when we signed him and I still think that they exist," Belichick said. "It's just that in the end we have to make decisions that are in the best interest of the entire football team. So that's what we're going to do."
Rogers, Williams and Ortiz were three cuts that were expected. Vinny Ciurciu was caught in a numbers game.
Billy Yates, a long time backup on the interior line was a surprise cut. His versatility to play guard or center allowed the Patriots to address their roster depth with one person. By releasing him, the team opened the door for one of the younger players, likely Rich Ohrnberger or Ryan Wendell to assumed Yates' duties as a backup C/G on the final roster.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said cutting Yates was one of the hard decision the team had to make.
"To tell players that have been working hard this year, and in other cases maybe a lot years before that - such as Billy Yates - that you're going to have to release them today; it's a tough conversation to have,": Belichick admitted yesterday. "Like I said, Billy has been one of our real solid guys here through the years, very dependable, very tough, comes to work every day, gives you 110 percent."
Belichick gave Yates a ringing endorsement in case another team needed offensive line depth.
"Billy's a guy that every coach would love to have on his team," the coach said.
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