Tuesday's Roster Moves

So, on Tuesday, the Patriots made some interesting roster moves. Cutting three young guys, and bringing in some veterans. They cut WR Greg Salas (just acquired for a late round 2015 pick from Rams at 53-man cutdown day), LB Mike Rivera (signed to practice squad during middle of last season), and FB Lex Hilliard (signed the day after 53 man cutdown day). Then, they signed WR Deion Branch, LB Niko Koutouvidis, and TE Kellen Winslow. The first two didn't make it past cutdown day, and Winslow was in Seahawks camp before getting cut and wasn't able to latch on anywhere. So, lets dive in here and see why they did all of this. As always, follow me on twitter @CultOfBelichick

-Salas for Branch: This one is very interesting because they basically cut Branch in favor of Salas at the 53-man cutdown date. Then, two weeks later they are cutting Salas, and signing Branch? My thought: The Patriots knew Branch wasn't going anywhere as he has stated his desire to play in New England, or no where else, and wanted to grab Salas for practice squad. Then, they cut Salas once they thought he'd pass through waivers. The injury to Hernandez made them move on Branch early, and we have to hope Salas isn't claimed and can get back on the squad.

The Patriots are hopeful Kellen Winslow can bring back old magic
-Mike Rivera for Niko Koutouvidis: This one is not overly surprising. After the debacle on special teams on Sunday, they wanted to bring in a veteran presence to help calm things down. Again, Rivera likely headed back to the practice squad.

-Kellen Winslow for Lex Hilliard These two do not play the same position, but it was still basically just a swap. This is a situation where they needed to add a player, and had to cut the guy on the 53-man giving the least value, and that was Hilliard. He hadn't really done anything productive, and with the offense moving away from a 2 TE offense slightly with Hernandez out, the offense is going to be more spread out and there will be less need for a FB. As for Winslow, they are basically hoping he can come in and be healthy and allow them to run half of their snaps or so out of 2TE sets. They will not run them all the time like they did in the first game, but they do not want to be forced into what they were in the Cardinals game, and HAVE to run 1TE sets.