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2017 NFL roster cuts: Patriots reportedly release veteran LB Jonathan Freeny

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It appears as if Freeny's time in New England has come to an end.

NFL: New England Patriots at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are in the midst of cutting down their roster – by 4:00 p.m. ET tomorrow, the team has to be under the 53-man regular season limit. The defending world champions are now another player closer: As first reported by the Boston Globe's Ben Volin, the team has released veteran linebacker Jonathan Freeny:

After spending most of last year on injured reserve, Freeny found himself on the roster bubble upon his return from the shoulder injury that ended his 2016 campaign. The veteran, who originally joined New England in 2015, was part of a talented linebacker corps; one that was not without its questions but still made it tough for the 28-year old to earn practice reps and playing time.

Nevertheless, Freeny saw plenty of playing time on defense and special teams during the Patriots' preseason contests. He finished tied for the team lead with 19 tackles. However, the writing was on the wall after he played almost all of the team's defensive snaps during yesterday's preseason finale against the New York Giants.

Due to Freeny's release, New England now has 81 players on its roster.