Three days after the 2015 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots parted ways with one of their picks in 2012.
The Patriots announced on Tuesday that they had released cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, along with long snapper Tyler Ott and linebacker Deontae Skinner. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport had first reported the news earlier in the day.
Dennard, 25, enters his fourth year in the NFL and has started multiple games in each of his first three years in the league. He finishes his Patriots career with 20 starts, 86 tackles, 20 passes defensed, five interceptions and a touchdown (pick-six off of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck).
Dennard played in 10 games as a rookie and 13 games in his second year, but only participated in six games last year before being placed on injured reserve. Some of the games he missed were due to injury, but he was a healthy scratch at other times after being passed on the depth chart by Malcolm Butler, who offers more value on special teams.
The Patriots began their offseason program 16 days ago, so it’s likely that they came to a quick decision based on something they saw in workouts. The Patriots currently have 11 other cornerbacks on their roster, including four free-agent signees, a draft pick, and two undrafted free-agents.
Dennard was slated to count $1.5 million against the salary cap, according to sports contracts website Over The Cap, but the Patriots freed up nearly all of that money by releasing him.