In somewhat surprising news, the New England Patriots announced the release of veteran running back Joseph Addai today.
The Patriots had signed Addai earlier in the offseason to provide a veteran presence to a young running back corps, one that is expected to be led by second year pros Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. There's no word yet on why Addai was cut before camp, but with veterans taking their physicals today, it wouldn't be a surprise if the reason was due to conditioning.
So where do the Patriots go from here? Currently, the team has Vereen, Ridley, Danny Woodhead, and Brandon Bolden as the top options available at the running back position. They also have three fullbacks on the roster in Tony Fiammetta, Spencer Larsen, and Eric Kettani.
At this point, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Patriots bring in another veteran running back to replace Addai (and in some ways, BenJarvus Green-Ellis). The team worked out former Packers running back Ryan Grant at the same time as Addai, so he could potentially be an option. The team has also reportedly expressed an interest in bringing back Sammy Morris, whom the team released at final cut-downs in 2011. Longtime Patriot Kevin Faulk, who has said he will either play for the Patriots or retire, could also be an option.