Patriots cut Daniel Fells, Jake Ballard

Chris Trotman

New England trimmed its roster Friday by parting ways with a pair of tight ends

The New Englang Patriots cut tight ends Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard on Friday, according to Ian Rapoport of

The cuts leave New England with three tight ends on the roster including Rob Gronkowski -- who may not be headed to the physically unable to perform list -- Zach Sudfeld and Michael Hoomanawanui.

Fells signed a three-year deal with New England last year worth more than $5 million and was the leading candidate to start in the injured Gronkowski's place when training camp began. He failed to separate himself from the other players at the position, however, ultimately making him expendable when combined with his salary.

Ballard suffered a serious knee injury in Super Bowl XLVI while playing for the Giants, which forced him to sit out the entire 2012 season. That may have hampered his chances of making the Patriots' final roster.

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