Patriots Release LB Banta-Cain

Ian Logue
July 26, 2011 at 12:10pm ET

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The team has parted ways with linebacker Tully Banta-Cain. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that Patriots linebacker Tully Banta-Cain will be released today.

Banta-Cain recently underwent surgery to repair an abdominal strain injury that was expected to at least keep him out of the start of training camp, which would have left the team with an immediate linebacker need had he suffered any setbacks.   However, it's likely his high cap number was the bigger culprit, and it appears the team will instead release him to allow him to seek employment elsewhere.

Banta-Cain had two stints here in New England, joining the team in 2003 as a 7th round pick before leaving after the 2006 season and joining the San Francisco 49ers for two seasons.  He returned to the club in 2009 and spent both seasons here in New England.  He started 6 games while playing in 15 games last season, finishing with 45 tackles and five sacks.

Following the news of his release Mike Giardi points out that it makes you wonder about Browns outside linebacker Matt Roth, who is an unrestricted free agent.  Roth started 16 games last year in Cleveland, finishing with 3.5 sacks and 2 passes defensed.  He also combined for 86 tackles.

Whether or not Roth would be a good fit in New England remains to be seen, but considering the impact a guy like Mike Vrabel - a relatively unknown player at the time - made here in New England, it's intriguing to say the least.