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Patriots release WR Gonzalez

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / May 30, 2012
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The Patriots released veteran receiver Anthony Gonzalez Tuesday, one of four roster moves the team announced.

Gonzalez, a 2007 first-round draft pick of the Colts, had injury problems with Indianapolis, limiting him to just 11 games combined over the last three seasons.

But shortly after he signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, he declared himself healthy and excited for the opportunity to be on the receiving end of passes from another Hall of Fame-bound quarterback in Tom Brady, after beginning his career with Peyton Manning.

Signed March 17, Gonzalez seemed like a good risk/reward type of player who could add to the team’s depth at slot receiver.

However, he was not on the field last Thursday when reporters were present for OTAs. It is believed Gonzalez just doesn’t have the legs anymore. At a crowded position - New England still has 11 receivers under contract – and with the return of Jabar Gaffney and the presence of Julian Edelman, who play similar roles, it was clear Gonzalez wasn’t going to rise too high on the depth chart.

New England signed undrafted rookie tight end Nick Melillo, 23, out of Kentucky. The 6-foot-2-inch, 226-pounder played in 32 games over three seasons, with 23 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown.

The signings of seventh-round draft pick Alfonzo Dennard and veteran interior offensive lineman Jamey Richard were made official.

Dennard has another court date Wednesday in Lincoln County (Neb.) District Court on charges of third-degree felony assault of a police officer for an incident outside of a bar April 21, just days before the NFL draft.

A Connecticut native, Richard was a seventh-round pick of the Colts in 2008 and played in 48 games with 11 starts.

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com.

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