The New England Patriots are never afraid to make stunning moves. Trading Richard Seymour, Logan Mankins or Chandler Jones? Sure. Releasing high-priced players? Of course. Bill Belichick will always do what he thinks is the best for his team, no matter the pedigree of a player involved in a transaction.
Today, the team will make another stunning move. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots will part ways with center Bryan Stork:
A stunner: Former starting center Bryan Stork is being released by the #Patriots today, I'm told. Crazy.
Stork was selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2014 draft and became the team’s starting center early his rookie season, which ended with a Super Bowl win. He was the shoo-in candidate to earn the job again the following year but a concussion forced him to begin the year on PUP. When he was activated, he returned as the starter and generally played well.
Now, Stork is gone.
The 25-year old struggled with consistency this offseason and was thrown out of practice twice for fighting. He also suffered another concussion, which forced him to fall behind second-year player David Andrews in the competition for the starting role. Still, given his ceiling, experience and versatility, Stork’s chances of making the roster were still looking good. Well, apparently they were not.
With Stork out of the picture, the Patriots have 82 players left on their roster and answered the question about their starter moving forward: it will be Andrews. Josh Kline and rookie Ted Karras are now projected to fight for the primary backup role at all three interior positions.