The Patriots have announced three roster cuts: DL Jonathan Fanene, K Chris Koepplin and OL Kyle Hill.
While Koepplin was always understood to be an extra leg during spring workouts and training camp and Hill was brought in this month when the offensive line depth took a hit because of injury, the release of Fanene was a bit of a surprise.
Fanene was the first free agent the team signed in March, receiving a 3-year, $12 million deal from the Patriots, with a $3.85 million signing bonus. After beginning his career with the Bengals, the 30-year old was projected as a versatile lineman in New England’s multiple defense, and someone who could help with the pass rush.
But Fanene had not practiced in August. A league source said recently that Fanene was dealing with an inflammatory problem, possibly arthritis.
In a conference call just moments after the Fanene move was announced, Bill Belichick said it simply “didn’t work out” with the player.
New England now has 85 players on its roster; by NFL rule, teams must be down to 75 players by Monday at 4 p.m.