Two years ago the Patriots thought they had a steal when they took Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley in the first round with the 29th overall pick. Now that selection doesn't look quite good.
According to CSNNE.com's Tom Curran, the Patriots have released Easley after just two seasons, ending his Patriots career abruptly.
Easley was thought to represent tremendous value because he was coming off a torn ACL, his second during his time with the Gators, and most experts felt he would have been taken well before 29 had he been healthy. New England thought it had an athletic penetrator at defensive tackle but ultimately he had a difficult time shaking off those injuries.
He finished each of his two seasons in Foxborough on injured reserve, and now it would appear that he's looking for work just two years removed from first-round status.
The Patriots have been aggressive in the defensive tackle market this spring, signing Terrance Knighton, Frank Kearse as well as inking Chris Long, a defensive end who has the ability to play inside as well. The team also expressed interest in Nick Fairley but ultimately lost out to New Orleans.
Clearly Bill Belichick wasn't happy with Easley and the rest of the depth the team had at the position, which also includes Malcom Brown, Alan Branch, Chris Jones, Joe Vellano and Ishmaa'ily Kitchen.