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Patriots Cut Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, Promote Safety Brandon King

The Patriots have quickly cut ties with their free agent cornerback in favor of an undrafted free agent.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Per ESPN's Field Yates, the New England Patriots have cut cornerback Bradley Fletcher. Per ESPN's Mike Reiss, the Patriots have promoted safety Brandon King from the practice squad.

The writing had been on the wall for Fletcher after the free agent acquisition was a healthy scratch in week 3. The Patriots kept cornerback Tarell Brown active, even though Brown didn't play with a foot injury, and undrafted free agent rookie Justin Coleman played heavy snaps against the Jaguars.

The Patriots current cornerback depth chart is Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Tarell Brown, and Justin Coleman. The Patriots have used safeties Devin McCourty and Jordan Richards in cornerback capacities, and Duron Harmon played a couple snaps at cornerback in the preseason.

To fill Fletcher's roster spot, New England has promoted undrafted free agent rookie King from the practice squad. King is expected to be a core special teams player. It is curious that the Patriots didn't make this roster move prior to the bye week.

The cornerback position reminds of the 2008 season where the team had to replace Asante Samuel, Randall Gay, and Eugene Wilson in the secondary. The Patriots brought in Fernando Bryant, Jason Webster, and Lewis Sanders, with Bryant cut in the preseason, Webster playing three games, and Sanders active for ten games with four starts. The Patriots signed Deltha O'Neal after he was released at the end of the preseason.

The Patriots brought in a trio of veterans in Robert McClain, Bradley Fletcher, and Tarell Brown, with the players seemingly on the same pace as their 2008 counterparts. If the Patriots acquire a veteran, the parallels to O'Neal would also be apparent. The Patriots also brought in Derek Cox and Chimdi Chekwa, both of whom didn't last very long.