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Patriots say good-bye to Armstrong

The youth movement in New England is in full force, as the Patriots have released 13-year veteran Bruce Armstrong.

Armstrong, who joined the team as a first-round pick out of Louisville in 1987, began his career at right tackle and moved to left tackle during the 1990 season. During his career with the Patriots, the six-time Pro Bowler started 196 of a possible 204 non-strike games.

The only games Armstrong missed were in 1992, when he suffered a career-threatening injury in the eighth game of the season. During the 1999 season, he played much of the second half of the year on a torn ACL in his knee.

Ironically, Buffalo defensive end Bruce Smith was released by the Bills on Thursday as well. Smith and Armstrong had developed a close relationship as friendly rivals after going against one another for 13 seasons.

The move comes on the same day that the team signed safety Lawyer Milloy to a seven-year, $35 million contract. It also marks the second Pro Bowl veteran to be axed from the roster in two days. Tight end Ben Coates was released by the team late Wednesday. Between the two, Armstrong and Coates played in 11 Pro Bowls for the Patriots.

Drew Bledsoe, Chris Slade, Todd Rucci, Vincent Brisby and Troy Brown, who were all drafted in 1993, now have the longest tenures with the Patriots.

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