BOSTON (CBS) — As you may have heard, the Patriots are signing a certain All-Pro wide receiver on Monday. With that, they had to free up a roster spot.
While freeing up a roster spot for a player of Antonio Brown’s caliber shouldn’t be hard, there was some fear around New England that preseason phenom and fan favorite Gunner Olszewski would be the odd-man out when Brown’s signing becomes official on Monday. According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, that is not the case.
Instead, New England is waiving safety Obi Melifonwu to clear up a roster spot for Brown. Melifonwu, a Grafton native, signed with the Patriots during last season after being released by the Oakland Raiders (sound familiar?). He played in two games for New England in 2018.
Per @FieldYates, safety Obi Melifonwu has been waived and TE Lance Kendricks (coming off 1-game suspension in which he didn't count against the roster limit) has been released. With Melifonwu waived, it creates a roster spot for Antonio Brown.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 9, 2019
In addition, the Patriots are also releasing tight end Lance Kendricks, who was suspended for Week 1. In doing so, they don’t need to free up a roster spot for Kendricks, and Olszewski remains to return some more punts.
The undrafted Olszewski, who was initially informed of his release on cut-down day before the Patriots changed their mind, fielded five punts in Sunday night’s 33-3 win over the Steelers. He returned two of those, averaging 17.5 yards per return, while calling for a fair catch on the other three.
An official announcement regarding Brown’s signing is expected to come from the Patriots at some point on Monday. Brown and New England reportedly agreed to a two-year deal over the weekend shortly after the talented receiver demanding his way off the Raiders.