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Patriots Release Running Back Joseph Addai

June 12, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Joseph Addai takes questions from reporters after mini camp at the Gillette Stadium practice facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
June 12, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots running back Joseph Addai takes questions from reporters after mini camp at the Gillette Stadium practice facility. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

According to a team press release, the New England Patriots have released veteran running back Joseph Addai. Addai was signed by the Patriots back on May 10 to a one-year contract.

Addai's release comes as a major surprise to me, as he was projected to be the team's "veteran presence" in their very young backfield. Young and coming backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen both lauded Addai's strong veteran presence during offseason workouts. He was projected to maybe serve in a third-down back role with the Patriots in 2012. This could be good news for Danny Woodhead, who was also competing for that third-down role.

His release makes me believe that he either didn't show well in his conditioning test today, or he has a long-term injury. The loss of Addai means that the Patriots can add one more player before they begin Training Camp on Thursday.

With Addai gone, the Patriots have Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead and undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden as the only running backs on the roster.