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Patriots release nine players

The New England Patriots announced that they have released nine players.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have released nine players: DB Malik Gant, WR Will Hastings, QB Brian Lewerke, DB Adarius Pickett ,WR Sean Riley, QB J'Mar Smith, LB Kyahva Tezino (key-AH-va tuh-ZEENO), DL Courtney Wallace and WR Isaiah Zuber. Hastings, Lewerke, Riley, Smith, Tezino, Wallace and Zuber were signed by New England as rookie free agents on May 5, 2020.

Gant, 23, was signed by New England as a rookie free agent out of Marshall on May 2, 2019. The 6-foot-3, 203-pounder spent the 2019 campaign on injured reserve. He played in 37 games during his collegiate career and totaled 201 tackles, two interceptions and 13 passes defensed.

Hastings, 23, played in 42 games during his collegiate career at Auburn and finished with 56 receptions for 845 yards and six touchdowns. The 5-foot-10, 174-pounder played in 13 games and caught 19 passes for 222 yards and one touchdown in 2019.

Lewerke, 23, was a three-year starter at Michigan State and finished ranked first in school history in total offense with 9,548 yards (8,293 passing and 1,255 rushing). The 6-foot-3, 216-pounder also finished his career ranked third in school history in starts (38) and wins (22).

Pickett, 23, signed with the Patriots practice squad on Dec. 11, 2019. The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder originally signed with the Chicago Bears as a rookie free agent out of UCLA in 2019. He went to training camp with the Los Angeles Chargers and had a stint on their practice squad before joining the Patriots practice squad.

Riley, 22, played in 49 games at Syracuse and finished with 119 receptions for 1,265 yards with four touchdowns, returned 115 kickoffs for 2,433 yards and 50 punt returns for 563 yards and one touchdown. The 5-foot-8, 178-pounder finished third on the Syracuse all-time list with 4,358 all-purpose yards and set the school record for most kickoff return yards (2,433).

Smith, 23, finished his career with 759 completions on 1,280 pass attempts for 9,523 yards with 51 touchdowns and 21 interceptions at Louisiana Tech. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder completed 236-of-367 passes for 2,977 yards with 18 touchdowns as a senior.

Tezino, 23, finished his college career at San Diego State ranked 11th in school history in total tackles (290). The 6-foot, 235-pounder played in 48 games with 31 starts for the Aztecs and totaled 15½ sacks, two interceptions, five passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

Wallace, 23, played in 48 games during his college career at Louisiana Tech and finished with 54 tackles, 3½ sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed. The 6-foot-2, 305-pounder played in 13 games as a senior and finished with 41 total tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass defensed.

Zuber, 23, played three seasons at Kansas State before spending his final college season at Mississippi State. The 6-foot, 190-pounder left Kansas State with 127 career receptions for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdown receptions, both top-10 marks for the school. As a senior, he played in 13 games with three starts and caught 14 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns.

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