Needing to get down to 53 players by 4 p.m. on Saturday, the New England Patriots took things one step further.
The Patriots have 52 players currently on their official roster, one fewer than the league requirement.
While there were no major surprises, Bill Belichick did cut several players who figured to have at least a shot at contributing to the team this season. Brandon Bolden, Cyrus Jones, Mike Gillislee, Harvey Langi, Riley McCarron, Marquis Flowers, Cole Croston, Eric Lee and Vincent Valentine headlined the list of 26 total players released on the league-mandated cut down day by the Patriots.
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
Additionally, the Patriots placed four players on season-ending injured reserve: Braxton Berrios, Christian Sam, Ulrick John and Isaiah Wynn, who was the team's top draft choice in April.
According to multiple reports, Ryan Izzo will be placed on injured reserve tomorrow, giving him a chance to return later this season. That move will leave the Patriots with 51 players on their roster.
New England kept only three wide receivers (Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson). Julian Edelman's four-game suspension officially began today and he won't be eligible to rejoin the team until Monday, Oct. 1.
Other players cut by the Patriots include Danny Etling, Corey Bojorquez, John Atkins, Luke Bowanko, Kenneth Farrow, James Ferentz, Trent Harris, Jason King, K.J. Maye, A.J. Moore, Henry Poggi, Brian Schwenke, Matt Tobin, Damarius Travis, Will Tye, Ralph Webb and Jomal Wiltz.
By retaining cornerback JC Jackson, New England kept a player the team originally signed as an undrafted free agent for the 15th consecutive season.
All released players entering their first, second or third NFL seasons are eligible to be re-signed to the team's 10-player practice squad.
Bolden, for what it's worth, was released on cut down day in 2017, only to rejoin the Patriots in time for their season opener.
New England opens its regular season on Sunday, Sept. 9 vs. the Houston Texans at 1 p.m. in Foxboro.