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Patriots Release Shawn Springs

Somewhere, cornerback Terrence Wheatley just breathed a sigh of relief.

This afternoon, the Patriots announced that they have released veteran cornerback Shawn Springs.

Springs, a veteran in his 14th season, was signed by the Patriots to a three year contract last offseason. While Springs seemed to come on strong late in the season, he was on the books for more than $3 million this year, part of a deal that could have reached as much as $13 million. By releasing Springs, the Patriots will save nearly $2 million.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Patriots haven't ruled out bringing Springs back at a lower price, but they will go their separate ways for now.

You can now officially add Springs to a group of 2009 acquisitions that have been disappointing, joining tight end Alex Smith, wide receivers Joey Galloway and Greg Lewis, and linebacker Paris Lenon as players who couldn't make it past one season with the Patriots. Leigh Bodden has by far been the best of the 2009 group of acquisitions (not counting Tully Banta-Cain who was signed before free agency began, and was with the team from 2003-2006).

The release of Springs leaves the Patriots with Bodden, rookie Devin McCourty, Darius Butler, Jonathan Wilhite, and Terrence Wheatley as the top options at the cornerback position.

Shawn Springs was released to make room for rookie center Ted Larsen, who was the first rookie to sign with the Patriots, the team announced today.