One day before they were due to pay him a $500,000 roster bonus, the Patriots released cornerback Tyrone Poole on Thursday. The move will save the Patriots between approximately $1.5-2 million on the salary cap.
Poole (5-9, 188) joined the Patriots prior to the 2003 season and was a key contributor in the team's championship season that year, starting all 16 games and all three playoff contests. Patriots coach Bill Belichick later said Poole turned in an exemplary effort that exceeded expectations that season.
But injuries limited Poole to six games over the last two seasons. He was injured in the 2005 season-opener and never suited up again.
The Patriots currently have Asante Samuel and Ellis Hobbs -- both of whom finished 2005 as starters -- returning at cornerback. Depth comes in the form of Randall Gay (an exclusive rights free agent who is expected to be retained), Hank Poteat and Artrell Hawkins.