After a flurry of trades and a last-minute change of heart on a fan-favorite receiver, the New England Patriots finalized their 53-man roster Saturday.

As always, they’ll continue to tweak their personnel, but here’s a look at the depth chart following the cut-down deadline:

QUARTERBACK (2): Tom Brady, Jarrett Stidham

The preseason went about as well as it possible for Stidham, a fourth-round pick out of Auburn. Stidham possesses high-level accuracy, particularly on the deep ball, and an ability to improvise and throw on the move. There’s a lot to like about the rookie quarterback.

The Patriots prefer to keep two quarterbacks and Stidham showed enough to beat out Brian Hoyer for the No. 2 job. This is a similar situation to what the Patriots dealt with in 2014, when then-rookie Jimmy Garoppolo ousted Ryan Mallett for the backup role. The major difference: Hoyer is a superior player to Mallett. Several teams, including the Colts, figure to be in the mix to land Hoyer.

Cutting Hoyer enabled the Patriots to keep an additional player at a different position.

RUNNING BACK (6): Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead, Damien Harris, Brandon Bolden, James Develin

This one was pretty much set from the outset of training camp. Based on reps and performance, Michel seems locked into the No. 1 running back role. Per usual, the Pats will sprinkle in others – James White on passing downs, Rex Burkhead can play on some early downs and team with White in two-back sets – but Michel should be the primary ball-carrier. If he stays healthy, there’s every reason to believe he’ll build on a 931-yard, six-touchdown rookie season.

WIDE RECEIVER (6): Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, N’Keal Harry, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski

PUP: Cameron Meredith

What a wild turn of events.

The Patriots kept Olszewski and let go of four-time Pro Bowler Demaryius Thomas, who dominated in the preseason finale to the tune of seven receptions, 87 yards and two touchdowns.
There’s a lot to unpack here. First, it seems likely that Thomas will be back. In order for a player to be eligible to return from injured reserve, he needs to be on his team’s initial 53-man roster. So the Pats could place someone – potentially rookie receiver N’Keal Harry or linebacker Shilique Calhoun – on IR and bring back Thomas to fill the spot.

If Thomas returns, the Pats could roll out a three-receiver lineup of Edelman, Gordon and Thomas on Sunday night versus the Steelers.

Dorsett is a reliable player who has earned Tom Brady’s trust over the years. A preseason stud, Meyers may find himself behind some of the veterans to start the regular season. After a last-minute change of heart, the Patriots kept Olszewski, who offers immediate value as a returner and long-term upside at receiver.

TIGHT END (2): Matt LaCosse, Ryan Izzo

Suspended: Ben Watson (four games), Lance Kendricks (one game)

LaCosse had a solid spring but has been sidelined with an ankle injury suffered in the preseason opener. He has light feet for his size (6-foot-6, 250 pounds). As Coach Bill Belichick said in June, the Patriots “feel like he has some upside.”

Izzo took advantage of his opportunities this summer. Known as a rugged and physical blocker, he flashed some hands in New England’s third preseason game, fully extending to snag a hard throw from Tom Brady for an 18-yard gain.

Given LaCosse’s injury, Izzo could be the Week 1 starter.

The Patriots might explore outside options at the position. Former New England tight end A.J. Derby was cut Friday by the Saints. Additionally, Dwayne Allen was released by the Dolphins, although Allen indicated to Josina Anderson of ESPN that he may not play this season.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8): Marcus Cannon, Shaq Mason, Ted Karras, Joe Thuney, Isaiah Wynn, Korey Cunningham, Jermaine Eluemunor, Russell Bodine

Injured reserve: David Andrews, Hjalte Froholdt

PUP: Yodny Cajuste

The loss of Andrews stings.

Andrews, who recently was treated for blood clots in his lungs, was placed on injured reserve. He cannot return this season.

“Unfortunate start to 2019 for me,” Andrews wrote on Instagram. “Thankful for all the thoughts and prayers from everyone. Best believe I’m doing everything I can to get back out there in 2020.”

The Pats acquired Cunningham (swing tackle), Eluemunor (backup guard and tackle) and Bodine (backup center who has 74 career starts) to bolster the unit.

The depth on the  offensive line this summer wasn’t good enough, and this was especially true at tackle. Not since 2010 have both Patriots tackles started all 16 games. Odds are the Pats will need their No. 3 tackle to play at some point this season. And the team felt Cunningham and Eluemunor were upgrades over what they had in training camp.

DEFENSIVE LINE (6): Michael Bennett, Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton, Byron Cowart, Adam Butler, Deatrich Wise

This is a solid group with a blend of experience and upside. Shelton looks poised for a big-time year in the middle. Bennett can still wreck a game at age 33.

A fifth-round pick out of Maryland, Cowart came on strong midway through August. He was working with the starters in the third game.

The only thing missing from this unit: A direct backup to the 335-pound Shelton. The Pats may want to stash a big fella on the practice squad as Shelton insurance.

LINEBACKER (8): Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts, Ja’Whaun Bentley, John Simon, Chase Winovich, Shilique Calhoun

Injured reserve: Derek Rivers

One of the strongest positions on the team. Van Noy and Collins excel on the edge but also can play off the line. Hightower can be used in a variety of ways. Roberts and Bentley are classic off-the-ball linebackers. And Winovich enjoyed what was perhaps the most dominant preseason by a Patriots rookie in recent memory.

There’s little doubt he’ll contribute this season.

Calhoun, who worked with the starters prior to suffering an injury in the second preseason game, did enough to earn a spot.

Brutal break for Rivers, who lands on season-ending injured reserve for the second time in three years. Rivers showed potential throughout the summer and turned in a two-sack performance in the preseason opener.

CORNERBACK (5): Stephon Gilmore, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Jonathan Jones, Joejuan Williams

The Duke Dawson trade wasn’t a surprise. A second-round pick in 2018, Dawson never found his footing in Foxborough.

The trade of Keion Crossen came out of nowhere. Crossen believed he was a 100 percent lock to make the team, but right before the 4 p.m. deadline the Pats opted to trade him to Houston to free a roster spot for wide receiver/returner Gunner Olszewski. Crossen was one of the best athletes on the squad and a high-level special teams contributor.

Even without Dawson and Crossen, this is a stacked unit. A second-round pick, Williams improved dramatically over the summer. He’s a fine No. 5 option behind an All-Star top four.

SAFETY (5): Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Terrence Brooks, Obi Melifonwu

IR: Malik Gant

Primarily a special teamer with the Jets, Brooks saw plenty of first-team reps in training camp as Chung continued to work his way back from a pair of offseason surgeries.

With Brooks in the mix, this is as deep a safeties unit as the Pats have had in a while.

Melifonwu was inconsistent in camp but offers rare size and athleticism, and should contribute on special teams.

SPECIALISTS (5): Stephen Gostkowski, Jake Bailey, Joe Cardona, Matthew Slater, Nate Ebner

The usual suspects here. Bailey has one of the strongest legs in the NFL. We’ll see how consistent he’ll be in the regular season.

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