New England cut ties with 2001 fifth-round draft pick Hakim Akbar Wednesday, one day after a veteran safety was signed by the team.
Akbar, drafted with the 163rd pick in last year's draft, had a disappointing rookie season. The 6-0, 212-pound safety appeared in six games and had five special teams stops before his season ended as result of a one-car crash. He suffered multiple injuries and was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list on Nov. 16, 2001.
The safety spots, had gotten a bit crowded for the Patriots recently. Starters Lawyer Milloy and Tebucky Jones are returning, as are reserves Antwan Harris and Je'Rod Cherry. New England also added veteran free agents Chris Hayes and Rob Kelly, who signed on Tuesday.
Akbar, who played his college ball at Washington, has seen rocky roads since declaring for the draft. He declared early, coming out following his junior season, but his draft stock dropped after some mix-ups caused him to miss some workouts with scouts.