A big surprise was announced on Friday morning, with Monique Walker of the Boston Globe reporting that the Patriots have decided to release veteran defensive back Leigh Bodden.


Friday’s move to release cornerback Leigh Bodden certainly caught everyone by surprise. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Coming back from a shoulder injury Bodden was supposed to be a key addition to a secondary that was in need of a little veteran help.  They already made some interesting moves before the season started, releasing embattled cornerback Darius Butler, along with veteran safeties Brandon Meriweather and James Sanders. Bodden was a well respected guy in the secondary, and his presence was expected to give the Patriots a lift and hopefully allow them to build on a solid rookie season from Devin McCourty and an impressive performance by Kyle Arrington. With Bodden coming back into the mix, they appeared to be in great shape.

Unfortunately it hasn’t quite worked out that way, and with the team sitting last in passing defense through six games, changes appear to becoming and it appears Bodden’s the first casualty.

The move comes just days before they resume their season down in Pittsburgh, which has most fans scratching their heads and wondering what the plan will be to replace him.

New England signed the former Browns defensive back in 2009 to a 1-year deal, and he was a terrific addition to New England’s secondary.  He started 14 of 15 games in his first season with the Patritos, finishing with five interceptions which earned him a four-year, $22-million contract extension.

Unfortunately he suffered a shoulder injury during training camp the following year which sidelined him for all of last season, and his return hasn’t quite turned out the way most fans had hoped.  He was moved over to the slot this season,  playing in five games as the Patriots’ nickel cornerback. He’s struggled in coverage, with ProFootballFocus.com pointing out he’s been thrown at 22 times and has allowed 12 receptions along with a touchdown.

The veteran’s release comes after the trade deadline, and as a result he’ll have to pass through waivers before becoming a free agent.