The New England Patriots released defensive back Marquice Cole yesterday, in what I make out to be a surprising move, this late in the season. Cole certainly is not a top cornerback on the team, but I think he provides solid depth for a banged up Patriot defense. He was on the receiving end of a nice interception against the Dolphins a few weeks ago, in which safety Devin McCourty batted the ball to Cole, who made a difficult interception. As ESPNBoston.com notes, Cole is also a key special teams player, as he had carved himself a nice role in that group.
Alfonzo Dennard, Aqib Talib, and Kyle Arrington are all dealing with some kind of injury right now, which makes this move even more puzzling. This either means that those three are completely healthy now (unlikely), or the Pats mean to pick up another defensive back in the coming days. Depth at this position may not be extremely important for Sunday’s game against Buffalo, as they don’t throw the ball too often, but it will be important for the upcoming playoff run, in which New England will be guaranteed to face a pass happy squad. Field Yates of ESPNBoston also says that Cole has dealt with a calf injury this year, which may have led to his release.