Not all cuts before the NFL’s roster deadlines are shocking, but the New England Patriots gave the NFL world a bit of surprise on Wednesday afternoon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter had the story first via Twitter:
Surprise, surprise: Patriots cut CB Ras-I Dowling.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 28, 2013
This move is surprising for multiple reasons, but the first of which is that there were widespread reports that Dowling would play the majority of the team’s final preseason game in order to prove himself. As a 3rd-year player, Dowling has tantalizing talent, but the former University of Virginia star has been unable to stay on the field during his time in New England.
He’s been an injury risk for the entirety of the three years, and it is possible that the Patriots tired of having to wait on the 6-foot-1 Dowling to perform consistently on the field. The Pats’ secondary is still going to be one of the prime concerns of the roster as the season approaches, but the cutting of a big-time talent like Dowling normally indicates some issues that aren’t publicly available just yet.
Stay tuned to see what the Patriots do at the cornerback spot, but whatever it is, it won’t involve Ras-I Dowling.