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A closer look at Patriots’ decision to release Anthony Gonzalez

05.29.12 at 3:09 pm ET
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The Patriots’ decision to release veteran wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez is likely a sign that the injury problems that have dogged the 27-year-old the last three seasons are still an issue for the slot receiver.

Gonzalez, who signed with New England as a free agent on March 17, started his career with a bang in Indy, including 57 receptions for 664 yards and four touchdowns in 2008. But an absolutely awful run of injuries the last three seasons — including thumb, foot, knee, shoulder, hamstring, back and groin issues — limited him to 10 games the last three years with the Colts.

The the 6-foot, 193-pounder, who was very open and honest about his injury history when he spoke with media for the first time as a Patriot last month, was not present for the most recent OTA session that was open to the media.

The release of Gonzalez leaves New England with 11 receivers on the roster. At the slot position — an area where Gonzalez would have likely been able to provide some depth had he been able to stick — the Patriots have Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and rookie Jeremy Ebert. Deion Branch has also shown the positional versatility needed to play in the slot on occasion as well.

Read More: Anthony Gonzalez, Deion Branch, Jeremy Ebert, Julian Edelman
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