We know we can count on the Patriots for a surprise cut in training camp, but no one expects it to happen in the middle of May.
The Patriots delivered two surprises in a 48-hour span, with the separate releases of defensive tackles Brandon Deaderick on Monday, and Kyle Love on Wednesday (first reported by Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston).
We don't know much about why Deaderick was released, but we already have a good deal of information on the circumstances around Love. The fourth-year defensive tackle was waived after being designated with a non-football injury; Love's agent told Reiss that Love had been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes "within the past two weeks" after he began experiencing unexplained weight loss.
Love's prime directive was to plug gaps as either a 4-3 defensive tackle or as a 3-4 end or nose tackle. The Patriots will be looking to fill that role in training camp.
What once appeared to be a stacked competition for playing time at defensive tackle has turned into yet another position on the roster that has been almost completely overhauled from last year (along with wide receiver). Second-year defensive tackle Marcus Forston is the only name that remains from last year, and he played just one game in 2012.
Newcomers include Tommy Kelly, formerly of the Raiders, and Armond Armstead, formerly of the Toronto Argonauts (CFL). As of right now, Tommy Kelly would be my guess as the front-runner for the starting spot next to Vince Wilfork, but Armond Armstead could earn it with a solid camp.
Mississippi State's Dewayne Cherrington and South Florida's Cody Grissom could follow in the footsteps of Love as undrafted free-agents to make the team.
Kelly and Armstead could prove to be valuable players, but as of right now, there's a lot more uncertainty for the Patriots at defensive tackle than there was this time just a few days ago.
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