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Patriots release three players


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced today that they have released DL Jonathan Fanene, OL Kyle Hill and K Chris Koepplin.

Fanene, 30, was signed by the Patriots as an unrestricted free agent from Cincinnati on March 20, 2012. He is a veteran of seven NFL seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. The 6-4, 285-pounder originally entered the NFL as a seventh-round draft pick (233rd overall) by Cincinnati in 2005 out of Utah. He has registered 12.5 sacks in his last two full NFL seasons with 6.5 in 2011 and 6.0 in 2009. Fanene was limited to two games in 2010 due to an injury.

Last season, Fanene played in 16 games with two starts and finished with 24 total tackles and a career-high 6.5 sacks. During his NFL career, Fanene has played in 71 games with 17 starts and has accumulated 103 total tackles, 13 sacks, four passes defensed, one interception that was returned for a touchdown in 2009 and three fumble recoveries.

Hill, 23, originally signed with New England as a rookie free agent on Aug. 8, 2012. He was a four-year starter at left tackle at Duke University. The 6-foot-6, 306-pounder was one of four team captains as a senior and a two-time Academic All-ACC selection.

Koepplin, 26, signed with the Patriots on April 16, 2012. He went to training camp with the Patriots in 2011 after joining the team as a free agent on July 27, 2011. The 6-3, 210-pounder was released on Aug. 29, 2011. Koepplin played two seasons at UMass in 2006 and 2007 after transferring from Nassau Community College.

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