Davis, a defensive end at UCLA, could have played inside or outside linebacker in the Patriots 3-4 alignment. He was signed to the practice squad in 2009, and re-signed to a future contract after the season. Stanback was picked up by the Patriots after being released by the Cowboys during the 2009 season as well. He was originally on the practice squad as a quarterback, before being promoted to receiver when the Patriots were thin at the position. Stanback got some work in as a fourth/fifth receiver and in goal line sets, recording three catches on the season.
With the depth (filling out the roster type of depth) the Patriots had at both positions (Crable, Ninkovich, Burgess, etc. and Patten, Slater, Anderson), and the amount of draft picks the Patriots have to sign, it isn't really a surprise that these players got the ax. We'll be seeing more releases like these over the coming weeks.
With the release of Stanback and Davis, the Patriots officially announced the signing of defensive end/outside linebacker Derrick Burgess. Owner Robert Kraft also hinted that the team has come to terms with another of its twelve draft picks.