Patriots Releases of Stork, Washington Hardly Surprising
Talented, but concussion-prone Center was outplayed by Andrews
The Patriots released two more veteran players this morning, C Bryan Stork and WR Nate Washington, bringing the roster down to 81 players. Neither player being released is a surprise, unlike the social media firestorm brewing. The Patriots roster must be lowered to the league-mandated limit of 75 players by August 30.
Stork was drafted in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft and was a starter on the Super Bowl winning squad. He is a tough, physical player who immediately resonated with the fans for his Logan Mankins-style play. Nicknamed “the Stork”, he instantly became a cult favorite in New England.
But his physical style of play came with a price. He has suffered 4 concussions in the past four seasons and his durability has become a liability to the team. This summer, he was locked in a positional battle with David Andrews who outplayed him throughout training camp.
With Stork missing time, the Patriots gave both Josh Kline and Ted Karras snaps at center this summer. Their versatility gives them a leg up on Stork who also was tossed from two practices for fighting. Once for fighting his teammate, Woodrow Hamilton and another for fighting with the Bears John Timu during the joint practices.
Given the flux of the interior offensive line, the team is opting to keep players that they can plug into various positions and not locked into one. As we said, this isn’t a surprise from those who watched the summer unfold. On our latest 53-man roster projection from last week, Stork was nosed out and did not make the cut.
Ironically he could wind up with the Bears, the team he was fighting against just last week as they need help at the center position or possibly with Tampa Bay.
Washington, 32, the 12th year wide receiver who came over as a free agent from the Texans is hardly a surprise either. Washington caught 47 passes for 658 yards, for a 14.0-yard average with four touchdowns for Houston a year ago. He struggled in the spring to find a comfort level in the offense and with Tom Brady.
Washington missed some significant time this summer with an injury and was getting reps behind younger players DeAndre Carter, Chris Harper, and Aaron Dobson. When healthy he still showed flashes that he could stretch the field but those moments were few and far between.
Washington’s release will allow the three younger players and Keshawn Martin who’s finally healthy to battle it for the final WR roster spots. The Patriots already have Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan, and Malcolm Mitchell who are locks on the roster.
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Tags: 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bryan Stork Nate Washington New England Patriots NFL Patriots Training Camp Photos Tom Brady