September 20, 2017

Caldwell Released; Moss Practices

by Scott Benson
[email protected]

The Patriots today continued to shape their 2007 roster when – in a mild surprise – they released veteran receiver Reche Caldwell after one season with the team.

Mike Reiss first reported the move on his outstanding Reiss’s Pieces, which is all over Gillette Stadium today as the team prepares for its opening game next Sunday in the Meadowlands.

John Tomase, on the Herald’s winning The Point After, countered by breaking the news that Randy Moss took the practice field this afternoon after an absence of more than a month.

It was Moss’s appearance that likely precipitated the release of Caldwell, who in 2006 set career highs in receptions, yardage and touchdowns in his first season with New England. The Patriots may have hestiated to add Caldwell to the list of cuts on Saturday without knowing whether Moss would be ready to go this week, and when the controversial All-Pro returned to the fold this afternoon, it was the end for Reche.

Caldwell, naturally, is the poor soul who signed with New England following the loss of free agent David Givens, and the holdout and subsequent bustout by Deion Branch. As a starter, Caldwell had the best season of his up and down career, and he even formed a degree of chemistry with Tom Brady, who often looked to Caldwell as he tried to re-build the Pats passing game. After an off-season player shuffle that featured at least three name receivers, and the emergence of fellow free agent Jabar Gaffney, he slid to the bottom of the depth chart, and then off it.

The move leaves the Patriots with a free roster spot.  New England still has only three outside linebackers listed, though Adalius Thomas, one of six inside linebackers on the team, is certainly a possibility there.

Moss will presumably be in uniform next Sunday to face the Jets, though it’s awful early in the week. Asante Samuel looks to be on track as well, a presumed opening day starter as he begins his second week back with the team. In other news, Eugene Wilson, Kyle Brady and David Thomas all practiced, according to both of the aforementioned bloggers.

In an odd twist today, the Pats placed fullback Kyle Eckel on their eight-man practice squad. Eckel, as you’ll recall, was the undrafted free agent who became a fan favorite after an impressive camp in 2005. The Pats had no room for him in the end, and he signed with Miami before the Pats could slide him to their practice squad. Cut by Miami this weekend after two seasons in limbo (no games played), Eckel comes full circle. Moral of the story: hang on to those Garrett Mills jerseys, folks. 

The Pats also signed TE Jason Rader to the practice squad. I have absolutely no idea who he is.

Share your thoughts in the Reche Caldwell Memories Book.


  1. If Samuel is active for Sunday’s game, doesn’t he fill that 53rd roster spot?

  2. That would be exactly right. I didn’t think of that.

  3. larry mollin says:

    reche caldwell was okay. the indy game everyone was sick and weak from the travel to the west coast and ther flu that accompanied them home. he was a fall guy for dropping the passes but he probably was sick and ehydrated like the rest of the guys who tries to crawl to the finish line.

    unfortunately he really had no role as the players upgraded and without the ability to play special teams he was the most likely cut. i wish he well. he played hard and probably had his career year. i see david givens can’t even get himself back on the field any more.

  4. The 2 drops in the red zone sucked. However, the Pats scored a TD after the first drop and kicked a field goal after the second.

    Granted, a TD would have been nice there too, but the drive resulted in a 31-28 lead at least and if memory serves, he didn’t exactly drop it in the end zone.

  5. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    The good news for Caldwell fans … you’ll probably see him in Gillette again before too long. The bad news: You’ll probably be seeing him there in a Jets or Dolphins uni.

    Just an oddball prediction, but I’m feeling lucky on this one.

  6. HopkintonPat Fan says:

    Caldwell was brought in to replace Givens and would have been a fine #2 to Branch – and was even an decent #1 at times. He showed toughness (going back in after getting leveled in Cincy game), and despite the Super Bowl drops, had a HUGE clutch play in the SD game with the sideline reception. Probably not too many WRs who caught 16 balls in 3 playoff games for a team then got cut next year. Fans should salute his effort.

  7. I loved Rader in MASH… his hijinks with Klinger were legendary. Welcome to New England.

  8. The fact that Reche Caldwell was the #1 guy last season was a god awful mistake made by the Patriots Brass. Good to see him gone. He will not be missed. The fact they brought in so many WR’s this season and he didn’t make the team shows just how untalented a player he was.

  9. Caldwell is adequate at best but judging by the playoffs last year, he just couldn’t seem to handle the pressure of a big game like Jabar Gaffney did.

  10. I don’t think that’s fair Angela. He had 16 catches for 175+ yards and a TD in the 3 playoff games. 7 catches for 80 yards and a TD in the win against San Diego.

    No need to go to that extreme and say he chokes in big games. Wasn’t it Troy Brown who screwed up the most important pass play of the game?

  11. Couldn’t they have released him earlier? Don’t tell me they weren’t sure if Moss would be ready or not, that’s total crap. They knew exactly how healthy Randy was.

    I just think it is a cold-hearted business move to cut a guy, who did a lot of good things for your team, when other teams have already solidified their rosters. I know it is all in the name of “In Bill We Trust” but I felt this outrage at the Milloy cut. Bad timing, just bad timing. Doesn’t Paper Reche deserve more than that?

  12. oh come on Sep, this is Pro Football, not Pop Warner. Why would you have expected the Patriots to relese Caldwell earlier?….just to be “nice guys”?

  13. jamesgarnerisgod says:

    As far as “solidified rosters” go, by Week 2 some team will find itself in need of a dependable, fit and game-ready receiver — there are just too many fast 260+ pound guys hitting receivers in this league — and not just the Jets and Dolphins I mentioned before.

    Caldwell wasn’t Jerry Rice, for sure, but he was more than “adequate” and, more important, was a receiver Brady had grown comfortable with. That’s not to say he hasn’t lost out to six better Patriots receivers this year (though Gaffney — despite flashes of brilliance — is a bit inconsistent for my liking) but he’s far from a stiff. Reche will be back on an NFL squad — maybe even one in headquartered southeastern Massachusetts — long before you start buying Halloween candy.

  14. Sep – when should they have released him? Before Thursday’s game? What if someone got hurt in the meantime?

  15. According to Hard Knocks Herm is bringing in Arena League guys and Lions castoffs. He could do worse than ‘ole Bug Eyes.

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