New England Patriots cut Jake Ballard, Daniel Fells

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick on the sidelines during the game against Tampa Bay Buccaneers on August 16, 2013
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Tight ends Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells headline 10 cuts made by the New England Patriots as part of their roster cut down ahead of Saturday's deadline.

The New England Patriots have confirmed the release of tight ends Jake Ballard and Daniel Fells, as part of their roster cut down.

Ballard, formerly of the New York Giants, was signed by the Patriots last year, but spent the season on injured reserve after sustaining an ACL tear against Bill Belichick's side in Super Bowl 46.

However, he struggled to prove his fitness during the Patriots' pre-season games and was deemed surplus to requirements along with Fells, who played 13 games for the Pats last season.

The duo's release increases the likelihood that All-Pro Rob Gronkowski will be activated to the roster from the physically unable to perform list before the start of the season.

Belichick's side also cut Marcus Benard, Johnathan Haggerty, Mike Rivera, Luke Patterson, Ben Bartholomew, Gilbert Pena, Matt Stankiewitch and Scott Vallone.

New England's Rob Gronkowski celebrates a TD against Miami on December 30, 2012
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