Patriots Release CB Leigh Bodden

Ian Logue
October 28, 2011 at 11:45 am ET

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 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.

  • george timmons

    another move that may make sense to coach belichek but not to we have i believe the worst secondary in football right know they’re going to waste another first round draft oick on a corner again w/ this team.bodden was one of the few tall corners who could keep up w/ big receivers.yeah belichek’s been right before but is the man going senile?the defensive “genius” has also passed on such talents from trading down (at kraft’s yearly urging) to get 2nd/3rd tier mediocre talent.

    i expect more of that in the upcoming draft.i pray i am wrong.passing on great front seven defensive players like callias campbell,brooks reed,muhammed wilkerson,lamar woodley,clay matthews,cameron jordan,sean lee,dan conner,getting rid of seymour(stupid!),not playing dane fletcher over (i can’t tackle) gary guyton.this team will turn in another patch job season w/ mirrors,and i look for another early exit as this defense isn’t anywhere near a superbowl long as you save kraft money&score points that’s all this team seems to care about presently.

  • Eric D

    “He’s struggled in overage, with pointing out he’s been thrown at 22 times and has allowed 12 receptions…”

    How are these stats, by themselves, evidence that Bodden has struggled? Being thrown at only 22 times in 4 games is not that much, and 12 receptions in 22 passes attempted is barely more than 50%, which is a really good percentage for a defensive back. I don’t get it. And with Dowling being consistently hurt, it now leaves Arrington and McCourty (who statistically HAS struggled) and almost nothing else.

    I personally think that letting Meriweather, Sanders, Butler, Wilhite, and now Bodden go, without any backup plan, is one of the main reasons (along with the nonexistent pass rush) the Pats have stunk in pass defense this year.

    Belichick a defensive genius, my a*s!