More details are emerging from yesterday's surprising release of veteran running back Joseph Addai. While we initially suspected that Addai's release was due to a conditioning issue, it may have been even more than that. Mary Paoletti of Comcast Sports New England reports:
In a seemingly surprise move, the Patriots released Joseph Addai on the eve of training camp. But according to a league source, the veteran running back was struggling during his conditioning test and simply "quit." He was not long in New England after that.
Quitting during a conditioning test? Of course, before jumping to any conclusions, the word "quit" should be defined in this context. However, assuming that Addai's reasons for quitting the conditioning test weren't injury related, that's clearly more than enough reason to cut a player - even if the Patriots conditioning test is notoriously difficult. If a player doesn't have the determination and grit to tough out a conditioning test, why should the team think that the player would be capable of grinding out an entire regular season?
And it's not as if Patriots players haven't failed the conditioning test before. Former Patriots running back Antowain Smith became notorious for failing the test - but it was never a question of his toughness or effort. Clearly, something else was going on with Addai surrounding the test that caused him to be released. If he simply "quit," as Paoletti described it, then good riddance.
Addai has been injured for large portions of the last two years. Following the story of his release, one can't help but wonder if he'll ever play another down in the NFL.