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DE Justin Francis and WR Quentin Sims among latest cuts for Patriots

08.31.13 at 12:14 pm ET

The Patriots have released defensive end Justin Francis, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis and safety Kanorris Davis, according to Field Yates of ESPN. The biggest surprise of the three is Francis, a defensive end who showed some promise as a rookie in 2012, finishing the season with seven quarterback hits and three sacks. The 24-year-old, a 6-foot-4, 270-pounder out of Rutgers who had 10 tackles total last season, will likely get picked up by someone between now and the start of the regular season.

In addition, the Patriots released wide receiver Quentin Sims. The 23-year-old Sims played two seasons at Georgia Tech (2009-10) before transferring to Tennessee-Martin in 2011. The 6-foot-3, 202-pounder had 86 receptions for 1,092 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, and gained a small measure of fame this summer as the favored target of Tim Tebow — the two hooked up on a pair of touchdown passes in the preseason finale Thursday night against the Giants. Sims, who has practice squad eligibility, is certainly a candidate to be retained in that capacity providing he makes it through waivers.

And Shalise Manza-Young of the Boston Globe is reporting that the Patriots will cut offensive lineman Josh Kline and defensive back Justin Green, but the team would like to retain them for the practice squad as well. Kline is a 6-foot-3, 295-pound offensive lineman who was signed as a rookie this spring out of Kent State. Meanwhile, Green is a 5-foot-11, 195-pounder out of Illinois who signed with the Patriots as a rookie free agent in July who made 29 starts over his final three seasons, registering 76 total tackles, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. (Green saw action at running back as a true freshman in 2009 and was not moved to cornerback until two weeks before the 2010 season.)

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