The Patriots have released two role players in wide receiver Kelley Washington and guard Billy Yates. The two releases will free up a little more than $1.5 million. While that may not seem like a lot of space, it could be the difference in say, retaining a James Sanders or signing a decent player through free agency. The Patriots are now approximately $7 million under the cap.
Kelley Washington has been a key special teams player over the last two seasons, recording a total of 25 tackles in 14 games. Many expected Washington to step up his play at the receiver position in 2008, however, he really didn’t. And with younger options like Sam Aiken and Matt Slater that are also significant special teams contributors, I guess Belichick would rather save over $1 million in cap space, letting the veteran receiver go.
Billy Yates started seven games last year, and really struggled at times. While he had a few bright spots, the line was much improved once Stephen Neal took back over. I will probably most remember Billy Yates for the monster practice squad contract he signed a few years ago. Still, he was a good backup. And guard looks like a position Belichick and Pioli will address this offseason.