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Patriots Release RB/KR Derrick Cullors

FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots withdrew their qualifying offer from running back/kickoff returner Derrick Cullors, making the three-year veteran a free agent.

Cullors, 27, was placed on the Patriots injured reserve list with an injured right knee on Aug. 27 and missed the entire 1999 season. In his first two years with the Patriots (1997-98), he was utilized as a third-down back and kick returner. In that role, he rushed for 149 yards on 40 carries, caught 16 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown and returned 60 kickoffs for 1,471 yards, a 24.5 yard average.

The 6-foot, 195-pound running back/kickoff returner led the team in 1998 with 45 kickoff returns for 1,085 yards (24.1 avg.), including a season-long of 68 yards at Denver (8/31/98).

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