Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots surprisingly released
two-time Pro Bowl return man Leon Washington following a series of waiver
claims on Sunday.
Washington was named to the NFC squad for last year's Pro Bowl after leading
the conference with an average of 29.0 yards per kick return as a member of
Seattle. The veteran running back was released by the Seahawks in March
following that team's acquisition of wide receiver Percy Harvin, however, and
signed with the Patriots just a few days later.
The 30-year-old was deemed expendable, though, as New England still has a
proven punt returner on the roster in wideout Julian Edelman and several
possible options -- including defensive back Devin McCourty, rookie wide
receiver Josh Boyce and running back LeGarette Blount -- to take back kicks.
Cornerback Marquice Cole, a key special teamer who recorded 17 tackles and an
interception for the Pats last season, was also released after the team picked
up linebacker Chris White, offensive linemen Braxston Cave and Chris Barker
and defensive tackle A.J. Francis off waivers. All but White are rookies.
White spent two seasons with Buffalo before being traded to Detroit for
quarterback Thaddeus Lewis on Aug. 25. The former fourth-round pick was
released by the Lions during Saturday's final cuts.
Barker and Francis were both in Miami's camp as undrafted free agents, while
Cave spent the preseason with the Cleveland Browns.
The Sports Network