New England Patriots

New England Patriots

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - AUGUST 19: A view of New England Patriots helmets on the bench during the preseason game between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium on August 19, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • By Tuesday at 4 p.m., the Patriots have to trim their roster from 85 players down to 80. With the team heading to Las Vegas on Monday for joint practices and a preseason game against the Raiders, they got some of their cuts out of the way ahead of the time.

    On Saturday, the Patriots made their first two cuts of the period releasing cornerback Devin Hafford and safety Jalen Elliott. They followed that up with a move on Sunday, releasing tight end Dalton Keene.

    Keene’s name is the one that stands out among this group. The Patriots traded up to draft him 101st overall in 2020, making him the second of two consecutive tight end picks for the team along with Devin Asiasi.

    More of an h-back type than a traditional tight end, Keene’s selection was seen as an indication that the Patriots might have been making a change offensively. However, Keene struggled to catch on in New England. He missed the early portion of his rookie year due to a neck injury. After working his way back he ended up appearing in six games that season, catching three passes for 16 yards. He then missed all of last season with a knee injury. The 23-year-old was then limited for a good portion of training camp this summer.

  • Dalton Keene college & pro stats

    Rece Rece Rece
    Year School Class G Rec Yds TD
    *2017 Virginia Tech FR 6 10 167 0
    *2018 Virginia Tech SO 11 28 341 3
    *2019 Virginia Tech JR 10 21 240 5
    Career Virginia Tech 59 748 8
    Game Rece Rece Rece Rece
    Year Age Tm G Tgt Rec Yds TD
    2020 21 NWE 6 5 3 16 0
    Care Care 6 5 3 16 0
    Provided by View Original Table
    Generated 8/22/2022.
  • Hafford, 24, was briefly with the Patriots during rookie minicamp in the spring but was released before OTAs. After spending the spring in the USFL, he re-signed with the Patriots last week to add cornerback depth to the roster following the IR placements of Malcolm Butler and Joejuan Williams. A rookie out of Tarleton State, Hafford was the WAC Defensive Player of the Year last season.

    Elliott, 24, signed with the Patriots a week into camp. He spent the first two seasons of his career with the Detroit Lions, where he played for current Patriots assistant coach Matt Patricia who was the head coach in Detroit at the time.

    The Patriots now have two more roster moves to make to get to the 80-player limit by Tuesday’s deadline. After that, it’ll be time to trim the roster down to the initial 53 players, which has to be done by next Tuesday, August 30.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

Sign me up for the 98.5 The Sports Hub email newsletter!

Get the latest Boston sports news and analysis, plus exclusive on-demand content and special giveaways from Boston's Home for Sports, 98.5 The Sports Hub.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.