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Resetting the Patriots' linebacker depth chart after David Harris' retirement

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The veteran called it a career yesterday.

New England Patriots v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Yesterday, veteran linebacker David Harris opted to announce his retirement after 11 years in the NFL – the last of which as a member of the New England Patriots. The move creates roughly $1.65 million in salary cap space for New England but leaves the team another body short at the linebacker position. With that in mind, let's take a look at what the Patriots have left heading into free agency.

Dont'a Hightower

Kyle Van Noy

Shea McClellin

Elandon Roberts

Harvey Langi

Nicholas Grigsby

As can be seen, only three of the Patriots' current linebackers finished the season on the team's active roster: Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts and Nicholas Grigsby were all part of the 53-man team heading into Super Bowl LII. The other three players were either on injured reserve (Dont'a Hightower, pectoral tear; Shea McClellin, head injury) or the non-football injury list (Harvey Langi, recovering from a car accident).

The Patriots also have two members of their final 2017 linebacker corps heading into unrestricted free agency: Marquis Flowers and James Harrison are all scheduled to hit the open market on March 14. The team is expected to make a push for both players to come back but even with them in the fold, New England would still need to add additional depth to a position that has suffered from inconsistent performances and high-profile injuries in the past.