Patriots move on from top-100 draft pick to kick off final cuts
August 30th, 2022
The New England Patriots have begun their final cutdown process, kicking off the proceedings with the release of tight end Devin Asiasi. Mike Giardi of the NFL Network first reported Tuesday that Asiasi has been informed of the move.
Additional reporting has added context to Asiasi’s situation. ESPN’s Mike Reiss described it as a move to waivers, which would give every other team a chance to claim him. He’s a player to watch on the wire over the next day and a half. If Asiasi can pass through waivers and become a free agent, he should be a candidate to return to the Patriots on the practice squad.
According to Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald, the Patriots explored possible trades involving Asiasi before deciding to waive him. That’s an indication that the third-year pro out of UCLA carries little value around the league at the moment.
This remains a fluid situation. It’s important to note, Reiss’ wording was that the Patriots plan to waive Asiasi by the deadline at 4 p.m. ET. It’s possible that this news causes a team to think twice and make a call on a potential Asiasi trade.
It wouldn’t be unprecedented for the Patriots themselves to change their minds, like when they went from releasing Gunner Olszewski to keeping him after trading Keion Crossen to the Texans. This is a long way of saying that this may not actually be the end of the road for Asiasi in New England.
Despite that, the proverbial writing exploded all over the wall in 2021, when the Patriots spent a combined $56.25 million in guaranteed money on tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith. In retrospect, the moves were a blatant admission by Bill Belichick that the two tight ends he drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft, Asiasi and Dalton Keene, weren’t going to work out long-term.
The Patriots originally drafted Asiasi with the 91st overall pick in 2020, then drafted Keene 10 picks later. They released Keene earlier in training camp. In all, Asiasi and Keene combined to play just 16 games over their first two seasons, with only five combined catches.
Asiasi would become the second former top-100 pick over the last two years that won’t play for the Patriots in 2022, joining last year’s third-round pick, Ronnie Perkins, who was placed on season-ending injured reserve.
The book isn’t closed on Perkins just yet, as he will remain under contract for his third season in 2023. But for Asiasi and Keene, this could be the end of the line for a pair of important draft picks that never panned out.
But we’ll see on Asiasi. It wouldn’t be shocking if another team took a flyer on him via waivers, or if he signed elsewhere. But if he ends up back in the free-agent pool, he should be on the radar for a possible return.
We’ll continue to keep you updated throughout the Patriots’ final roster cuts here at 985TheSportsHub.com. Keep scrolling for our live roster cut tracker.
Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.