The Patriots are reportedly cutting ties with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, defensive end Will Smith, and recently signed linebacker James Anderson.
NE with some notable cuts: Patriots released veteran DL Tommie Kelly and Will Smith, along with vet LB James Anderson, per league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 24, 2014
Kelly signed with the Patriots in the 2013 offseason on a 2-year deal. He was slated to count as $1.8 million against the team’s 2014 salary cap, but his release frees up $1.205 million. He started five games for the Patriots last season and recorded 12 tackles and 2.5 sacks. But a knee injury sidelined him before he was eventually put on injured reserve.
Kelly was expected to start at defensive tackle alongside Vince Wilfork. But the Patriots have moved away from a 4-3 front this season, with a healthy Wilfork taking the bulk of the snaps at nose tackle.
Tommy Kelly on reason for his release: "I don't know but I enjoy my time and my teammates. I have no problem moving along with my career."
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) August 24, 2014
Smith signed with the Patriots May 5, just in time for the end of the Patriots spring program and ahead of training camp. But he failed to make a real dent on the field. (Boston.com tracked Smith’s 1-on-1 results in camp, an indicator of success, and he went a paltry 2-15.) He had signed to a 1-year, $870,000 contract with only $15,000 guaranteed.
Anderson was another free agent signee that failed to make an impact in camp. He played in only eight defensive snaps against the Carolina Panthers on Friday. He had signed a 1-year, $920,000 contract. The Patriots will save $635,000.