Today, the New England Patriots made their most notable roster moves of the 2012 offseason, releasing guard Rich Ohrnberger and veteran defensive lineman Mike Wright.
The release of Wright is a sad, but not unsurprising move. Wright ended both his 2010 and 2011 campaigns due to concussion injuries. He recorded 5.5 in just 10 games played last season, and added a half-sack in his only game played this year.
Wright was originally signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati following the 2005 NFL Draft. Wright made the roster as a rookie, and gradually saw his playing time increase each year. Following the 2008 season, Wright signed a 4 year, $7.5 million contract with the team. In 2009, Wright played all 16 games and started 9, picking up 35 tackles and five sacks. In 2010, despite missing the final six games due to the aforementioned concussion injury, Wright picked up 5.5 sacks and 14 tackles.
During his time with the Patriots, Wright was able to fill a variety of roles. The 6'4", 295 lbs lineman played 3-4 nose tackle, 3-4 right defensive end, 4-3 defensive end, and defensive tackles in four man fronts. He also played on special teams.
With this release, Wright's pro football career likely comes to an end. We wish him the best going forward, as Wright was a promising player who never got to live up to his potential due to the unfortunate injury situation.
As for Ohrnberger - you can't exactly be surprised with the Patriots' decision to release him. Ohrnberger played in just five games in two years after being selected in the fourth round out of Penn State in the 2009 NFL Draft. Many thought Ohrnberger had some potential - the Patriots traded the two fifth round choices acquired in the Ellis Hobbs