Patriots Release Key Players, May Be Shifting Defenses

It seems as though the minute I step away from the computer, the Patriots pull off a big move. I leave to go to work and they trade for Albert Haynesworth. I go for a run in the neighborhood and they trade for Chad Ochocinco. Today, after camping near the computer all day, I go on a brewery tour in Newport, RI, and the Patriots announce some big releases! Some of the players announced we already knew about: Tully Banta-Cain, Tony Carter, and Marcus Stroud. Nick Kaczur was long rumored to be a target for a release, and that became official today. However, two more joined that crew on the street that are a bit of a surprise.

TE Alge Crumpler, unable to practice while recovering from shoulder surgery, was released. This came as a bit of a surprise to me because of the large role Crumpler player last season, namely as a strong locker room leader. He was voted as a captain by the team. Also released today was DL Ty Warren, which really came as a shock to me. He opened camp on the active/PUP list after failing his conditioning test, and missed all of last season with a hip injury. Despite his status on the PUP list and large salary, Warren seems to think the Pats are shifting defensive philosophy, making him expendable.

Warren texted a statement on his release to the Boston Herald. I bolded his thoughts on the Pats’ defense.

I appreciate the Pats through the yearsThey’re doing some things defensively and choose to go in a different direction. I thank the Krafts for the opportunity and drafting me in 2003. It was a pleasure. I will be moving on to bigger and better things. We are sorting out and will look forward to wearing a contending NFL team jersey this fall.

Could that be a move to the 4-3 defense as their base defense? It’s highly possible, though we’ve been duped into thinking that before. There have been rumors that they Patriots have one more big surprise move in them, so perhaps they’re clearing cap space to make that move. Perhaps an outside linebacker or a pass-rushing defensive end trade or signing is in the works. After the Haynesworth and Ochocinco trades, anything and everything is possible with the Patriots.

Just when you think you have the answers, Bill Belichick changes the questions.

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Tags: Albert Haynesworth Alge Crumpler Chad Ochocinco New England Patriots NFL Nick Kaczur Patriots Personnel Moves Patriots Roster Ty Warren

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