FOXBORO (CBS) – The New England Patriots have cut former first-round pick Brandon Meriweather.
Meriweather was the Pats 2007 first-round pick. He was selected for the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons.
Meriweather was expected by many to be the Pats’ starting safety.
The Patriots released veteran players, DL Landon Cohen, LB Niko Koutouvides, DE Eric Moore, RB Sammy Morris, WR Brandon Tate and WR Tiquan Underwood; first-year players, OL Thomas Austin, RB Eric Kettani and DB Ross Ventrone and rookies, LB Markell Carter, DL Aaron Lavarias, DE Alex Silvestro, TE Lee Smith and TE Will Yeatman.
In addition, DL Ron Brace, DL Brandon Deaderick RB Kevin Faulk were placed on the reserve physically unable to perform list and 2011 fifth-round draft pick Marcus Cannon was placed on the reserve non-football injury list.
OL Rich Ohrnberger was placed on injured reserve.
WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid On Meriweather:
Brandon Meriweather has been in Bill Belichick’s dog house for over a year now. Those days are over, word is Brandon Meriweather has been released.
This was not a huge surpirse. The Pats have been trying out different players at safety and in the last preseason game against the Giants, Meriweather barely played. He was only on special teams and the last moments of the 4th quarter. The Pats were looking at Josh Barrett for Meriweather’s spot in the last game and apparently Barrett won the job.
Meriweather is a 2-time pro bowler and one of the hardest hitters in the league but he loves to freelance. In a Bill Belichick system, freenlancing is not welcome. The Pats have also released James Sanders. So now the safeties in this team are Patrick Chung, Josh Barrett, Sergio Brown and James Ihedigbo.
All preseason I have said that Tate was walking the tight rope, The new rule of moving the ball up 5 yards on kickoffs did no help his cause and he’s just not a better receiver than the rest of the bunch. He missed a lot of camp with a hamstring. Brandon needed to show something in the last 2 preseason game and he did not. Tate 24 receptions last year.
Not sure I saw this one coming, but we are hearing that Sammy Morris is no longer a Patriot. Sammy just signed a one year deal with the team and many thought he would stay on to continue his solid role on the special teams unit. The Pats have Danny Woodhead, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. All along the question was would the Patriots carry 5 running backs. I thought they would because Morris is so versatile. That was not the case. Morris still has some football left and hopefiully he will get picked up by another team. He is one of the classiest athletes I have ever been around.
WBZ-TV’s Levan Reid contributed to this report