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Three offensive linemen to be released as cuts continue

09.04.10 at 2:40 pm ET
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Various reports now indicate the Patriots have told offensive linemen Rich Ohrnberger, Ted Larsen and Thomas Welch they have all been released. Ohrnberger was a fourth-round pick in 2009 who played sparingly as a rookie, while Larsen (sixth round) and Welch (seventh round) were taken this past spring by the Patriots.

Larsen and Welch may stick around Foxboro, however, as they do have practice squad eligibility.

That trio joins linebacker Eric Alexander, quarterback Zac Robinson and defensive back Ross Ventrone as the players who have been let go by the Patriots this weekend as they continue to cut their roster to the league-mandated 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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Alexander among early cuts for Patriots

09.04.10 at 12:54 pm ET
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Linebacker Eric Alexander has been released by the Patriots. Alexander, who has played for New England for the last six seasons, was signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent in 2004. This morning, the 28-year-old posted “Anyone hiring??? I’m just recently unemployed….” as status on his official Facebook page. Predominantly a special teamer while with New England, his best season came in 2007 when finished with 18 tackles.

In addition, multiple reports indicate the Patriots have informed quarterback Zac Robinson and defensive back Ross Ventrone they have been released. Both Robinson and Ventrone have practice squad eligibility.

New England must cut its active roster down to 53 by 4 p.m. on Saturday.

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Belichick puts the wraps on preseason, looks ahead to Cincy

09.03.10 at 5:43 pm ET
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Just wrapped up a conference call with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and here are a few quick highlights from the Q&A:

On Damione Lewis’ release: “I like a lot of things about Damione. He’s a solid guy, a good player. He’s smart [and] works hard. In the end, we just felt like we had some other people ahead of him. Really, that’s what it came down to. There really isn’t anything I don’t like about Damione Lewis. I just think there were other players we like just a little bit better for one reason or another.”

On the players’ schedule for the next couple of days: “They’ll get some time off, but we’ve got to get going on Cincinnati here too. I think once we get — I don’t want to say our preparation finalized — but once we get them to a point where we know what we want to do, we need to pass it along to them and get them pointed in the right direction. We’ll do that, I guess when the time is right. We’ll get that figured ourt here in a day or so.”

On the probability of the Patriots making a trade in the next day or two: “I have no idea. I have no idea. I’d say most of the calls relate more to exchanging information than, ‘Here’s seven players we want to trade. Which six players do you want to trade?’ and then turn it into some big blockbuster trade. It’s a lot more of just exchanging information.”
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Pats confirm release of Lewis, also cut Ghiaciuc

09.03.10 at 4:56 pm ET
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The Patriots have confirmed the release of defensive lineman Damione Lewis, and also announced that offensive lineman Eric Ghiaciuc. A 6-foot-4, 303-pounder, Ghiaciuc was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 4. He is a veteran of five NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (2005-08) and San Diego Chargers (2009). He originally joined Cincinnati as a fourth-round draft pick in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Central Michigan.

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Patriots release Butler, Myers

09.03.10 at 2:24 pm ET
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The Patriots have released tight ends Carson Butler and Rob Myers, according to a league source. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Butler, a 23-year-old out of Michigan, was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 2. Myers, 24, is a 6-foot-4, 240-pounder out of Utah State who was signed to New England’s practice squad last November. Both players have practice squad eligibility, and could end up there when the practice squad is assembled this weekend. The news on both was first reported by ESPN.

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Reports: Patriots cut Lewis

09.03.10 at 1:46 pm ET
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Multiple outlets are reporting the Patriots have released defensive lineman Damione Lewis. The 32-year-old Lewis. who was picked up by the Patriots as a free agent on April 2, is a 6-foot-2, 301-pounder who was a first round pick of the Rams in 2001. He spent five seasons with St. Louis (2001-2005) and another four with Carolina before signing a one-year deal with New England this past offseason.

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Stephen Neal on D&H: Moving on without Logan Mankins

09.03.10 at 12:12 pm ET
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Stephen Neal

Stephen Neal

Patriots lineman Stephen Neal joined the Dale & Holley show Friday. To hear the interview, visit the Dale & Holley show audio on demand page.

Neal was asked about fellow lineman Logan Mankins, who remains at home in California embroiled in a contract dispute. “You’re definitely missing a Pro Bowl player, a tough guy and just a great guy to be around,” Neal said. “But we can’t really focus on that right now. Whoever’s here, [let's] all strap it up and go out together.”

Neal said he’s been impressed by tight end Alge Crumpler, who is in his first season with the Patriots after nine years in the league. “He’s a great addition to this football team,” Neal said. “We have a couple of young tight ends. … He’s giving them great words of insiration and really getting them on track. I think he’s going to be a great leader on this team, helping the young tight ends come along.”

Neal and guest co-host Troy Brown told the story of Neal’s first training camp in 2001, when the former collegiate wrestling standout barricaded himself in his dorm room at Bryant College as veterans including Willie McGinest and Bobby Hamilton tried in vain to break in and haze him with a rookie haircut. At about 2 a.m., after the players threatened to steal his playbook, Neal let them in, winning a measure of respect for his apparent feat of strength. “They broke my door handle,” Neal recalled. “So, I had to get the nightstand and put that up against the door. But all they could see in the mirror was my arm holding the door, so they thought I was [holding them off] with one hand.”

Prior to Thursday’s game against the Giants, Neal had a race with Tom Brady while the two were doing conditioning drills. “Tom got me,” Neal admitted, adding, “I figured it would be better for him to win.”

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