You don’t normally see teams release a contributor at this time of the offseason, but the New England Patriots chose to release Brandon Deaderick yesterday. Deaderick was expected to play a role as a defensive tackle in the rotation, and he managed to start in five games towards the end of the 2012 season and received significant snaps down the stretch. Deaderick’s release means that the Patriots must be very confident in Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead going forward, and they must also believe that those two offseason additions are clear answers at a position that was viewed as a weakness heading into the offseason.
Deaderick was no great shakes, but he did get snaps and figured to play a decent role in the Patriots defense. It will be interesting to see if Deaderick got into the doghouse for some reason, but there is no indication of that with the 25-year-old Alabama product. He should find work quickly, and I guess the Patriots released him now as a favor.
In all honesty, the Patriots didn’t need Deaderick, because he is entering the final year of his rookie deal and had an awful 2012 campaign. He played in plenty of snaps, but Deaderick was awful as both a run defender and pass rusher, and he has never been a factor as a pass rusher. The Patriots received two upgrades to Deaderick in Armstead and Kelly, and I’ve honestly never seen anything special in Deaderick. But he can help another team out as a backup due to his youth, cheap salary, and the chance that maybe he develops into something more with a new team. Last season, Deaderick was the Pro Football Focus’s third-lowest graded player on the Patriots defense, which I use only to underscore the fact that he was nothing special in New England.
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