The 27-year-old wide receiver signed with the Patriots in mid-March after several injury-plagued seasons with Indianapolis. Gonzalez was among several players not on the field for last week's organized team activity (OTA) session here in Foxborough, leaving some like us to wonder if the move was health-related.
When healthy early in his NFL career, the 6-footer was very productive for the Colts, and was believed to be able to provide the flexibility to line up either on the outside or inside. Gonzalez was perceived by some observers to be a worst-case scenario insurance policy in the event of a Wes Welker holdout. The latter's recent signing of the Patriots franchise tag tender may also have been a factor in his release today.
Whatever the reasons, the Patriots wide receiver position remains among the most competitive on the roster entering the 2012 season, so the move certainly must come as welcome news to those left to fight for a handful of jobs at that spot.
New England added another former Colt today by signing 27-year-old offensive lineman Jamey Richard (6-5, 295), an interior lineman with 11 career starts in his four seasons in Indy. The club also signed seventh-round draft choice Alfonzo Dennard, the defensive back from Nebraska, and rookie free agent Nick Melillo, a tight end from Kentucky.