The Patriots have had a flurry of roster activity today in the hours before the NFL's 4 p.m. trading deadline, with receiver Joey Galloway and tight end Michael Matthews being released.
In addition, linebackers Tully Banta-Cain and Eric Alexander were both at practice this afternoon, according to the Globe's Michael Vega. The Patriots have officially re-signed Banta-Cain, and the presence of Alexander seems to confirm that he, too, has re-signed hours after being released.
Linebacker Adalius Thomas was also at Patriots practice this afternoon.
Galloway, a 15-year veteran who was signed to a one-year deal in the offseason, is the most notable transaction. He was expected to fill the role of third receiver, but appeared to struggle to get on the same page as quarterback Tom Brady and had been inactive for the last three games.
The 37-year-old receiver played in the opener vs. Buffalo and against the Jets on Sept. 20 and the Falcons Sept. 27, catching a total of five passes for 67 yards.
Galloway, a first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 1995, has caught 689 passes for 10,777 yards and 77 touchdowns in his career. Because he has been let go before the 4 p.m. trade deadline, he is not subject to waivers and will be able to sign with a team of his choosing.
Matthews, who was acquired in a trade Sept. 5 from the New York Giants, has not caught a pass in four games with the Patriots.
His agent, Wesley Bridges, said the release of Matthews was not presented to him as strictly a procedural matter with an eye towards bringing the released player back, which appears to be the case with both linebackers Alexander and Banta-Cain, who were on one-year, $620,000 deals.
Bridges said he was fairly confident that Matthews would be picked up by another team, unless the Patriots made a move to bring him back quickly.
Christopher L. Gasper and Matt Pepin of the Globe staff contributed to this report.