Bill Belichick will have some big decisions to make this week as the mandatory NFL Roster Cut deadline, where teams must trim their rosters from 90 to 75 players by August 30, is rapidly approaching.
With three preseason games in the books, Belichick and company have had a good chance to look at most of their roster, and by this point should have an idea of who will make the team and who won't.
Tom Brady, Wes Welker, Deion Brach, Jerod Mayo and the usual starters obviously won't be cut, but plenty of players will - some that media members have predicted and others that will shock many.
Believe it or not, there have even been rumors that Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth could even be cut, although based on the production both could bring to the team, it's highly unlikely that either will be shown the door.
The starter most likely to be cut as of Monday morning is Brandon Meriweather, who has been under public scrutiny for quite some time now and has had a rather uneventful training camp and preseason. Still, it's more likely that the Patriots would trade him instead.
Which players are likely to get cut? Let's take a look at Chris Price of WEEI.com's latest predictions as to which players he thinks will and won't be on the sideline for the season opener against the Miami Dolphins.
Chris Price, WEEI.com: Price believes that the Pats will keep all three QBs - Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett - and will keep all nine offensive lineman (Matt Light, Nate Solder, Logan Mankins, Dan Koppen, Sebastian Vollmer, Ryan Wendell, Dan Connolly, Steve Maneri, Rich Ohrnberger), with Marcus Cannon opening the season on the reserve/NFI list. Price thinks that Yeatman will edge Lee Smith and Garrett Mills for the third TE spot, with Alge Crumpler being brought back into the mix later this year. Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski are obviously safe as the team's starting TE's.
At running back, Price has the Patriots going with youth, keeping starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. Kevin Faulk will likely start the year on the PUP list and Sammy Morris will be cut.
Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Chad Ochocinco, Julian Edelman, Taylor Price, Matthew Slater and Brandon Tate will all hang on at the wide receiver position, with Tate being the least likely to stick around on the roster. If Slater or Price don't finish the preseason strong, Price wouldn't be shocked to see either left off the roster.
Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko and Matt Katula will be kept on as special teams players and Jermaine Cunningham, Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter and Eric Moore make the cut at defensive end, with Mark Anderson being the odd man out. While Cunningham and Ellis are safe according to Price, he thinks it would be good for them to get some snaps in before the season opener.
Vince Wilfork, Albert Haynesworth, Mike Wright, Myron Pryor and Kyle Love will make the cut at defensive tackle - with Gerard Warren being cut - and Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Rob Ninkovich, Gary Guyton and Tracy White will make up the linebacking core. Niko Koutouvides and Ricky Brown will miss the cut at LB.
Devin McCourty, Leigh Bodden, Kyle Arrington, Ras-I Dowling and Darius Butler will stick around at cornerback, with Butler barely hanging on, and Brandon Meriweather, Patrick Chung, James Sanders and Sergio Brown will make the cut at safety. James Ihedigbo, the ex-Jets corner who the Pats brought in last week, will need to finish strong to secure a spot, according to Price.