The New England Patriots informed second-year wide receiver Josh Boyce that he will be waived by Saturday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, as the team has started the process of trimming its roster from 75 to 53 players.
Boyce, a high fourth-round draft choice out of Texas Christian last year, entered training camp as the team's projected top kickoff returner. He was expected to be a backup at receiver, but he didn't make the expected first-to-second-year jump at that position. He was left off our most recent roster projection.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Boyce, whose speed was one of his main assets coming into the NFL, could potentially return to the team's practice squad if he clears waivers.
In addition to Boyce, the Patriots have informed rookie guard Jon Halapio that he is also being waived. That move was expected, although it's a bit of a disappointment for the Patriots after they selected Halapio in the sixth round of the draft (179th overall) out of Florida.
Similar to Boyce, the 6-foot-3, 320-pound Halapio is a possibility for the practice squad if he's not claimed on waivers.
Also, second-year linebacker Steve Beauharnais was informed of his release in what could be considered a mild surprise. The 2013 seventh-round draft choice from Rutgers was praised by teammates for his film study and command of the defense.
Others reportedly told of their release who were expected to be let go, per reports, include defensive tackles Jerel Worthy, Eathyn Manumaleuna, and L.T Tuipulotu, defensive end Jake Bequette, center Braxston Cave, tight end Steve Maneri, linebackers James Morris (injured) and Ja'Gared Davis, receiver Jeremy Gallon, fullback Taylor McCuller, running backs Roy Finch and Jonas Gray, cornerback Daxton Swanson, and safeties Kanorris Davis and Shamiel Gary.
NOTE: While players are informed of their release, nothing is official until the team turns in paperwork to the NFL. There is always the outside chance of a late change, or another team seeing news of a player being informed of his release and approaching that team about a trade.