FOXBOROUGH -- Linebacker Tully Banta-Cain is going to be released by the Patriots on Thursday.
Update (1:40 p.m.): Banta-Cain has confirmed the news, first reported by ESPN, with a text to Shalise Manza Young reading "it was a fun ride."
Over the last two seasons, Banta-Cain recorded 15 tackles for New England in his second go-round with the team after a two-year stay with the 49ers. He signed a contract extension after the 2009 season and his cap hit including bonuses for the coming season was to be $4.5 million. According to the accurate website patscap.com, the team saves nearly $2 million by releasing him.
Banta-Cain had surgery four days ago to repair an abdominal strain from an injury which had been affecting him since last season. Patriots team doctors knew about the injury and gave him a plan to deal with it during the lockout. At one point over the past few months, a source said the injury felt "fine," but as Banta-Cain began to ramp up workouts about a month ago, the problem flared up.
We are working to find out if this is a situation in which Banta-Cain will be outright released (cuts aren't official until Friday at 4 p.m.) or if he might be cut and brought back at a lower salary.