The Patriots released second-year outside linebacker Vince Redd today, shining the spotlight on one of the team's most pressing questions entering training camp: How will Mike Vrabel's void be filled?
Vince Redd (Barry Chin / Globe Staff)
Redd was not considered a likely option to start, but he was projected to add depth behind Pierre Woods and Shawn Crable. Entering camp, it was my view that he would challenge seven-year veteran Tully Banta-Cain for the No. 3 spot in the rotation.
As a sturdy player who runs well enough to play on the punt team, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Redd had shown promise toward the end of the 2008 season.
Yet by Saturday, Redd was seldom in the mix, with Banta-Cain seeing more reps in practice (see observation No. 5 from Saturday morning). He didn't appear to be as explosive in the pass rush as Banta-Cain.
"I just think where we are defensively, there are probably other teams that he might fit a little better schematically, with the skills that he has," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. (updated: 12:30 p.m.)
With Shawn Crable opening training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list, the Patriots remain thin at outside linebacker.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Patriots were contacting other teams about trade possibilities.