With the New England Patriots bringing veteran offensive tackle Jared Veldheer on board as a free agent pickup, the team needed to make a corresponding roster move to stay under the 90-man offseason limit. Today, that move was made: as the team announced, it has parted ways with wide receiver Bruce Ellington not even two months after signing him to a one-year, $895,000 free agency contract.
Ellington, who had just $25,000 in guarantees in his contract, was originally seen as a potential depth option behind Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett when he came to New England in mid-March. After all, the 27-year-old was an experienced and speedy player with experience as a kickoff returner as well. Consequently, he was expected to at least compete for a rotational spot on a wide receiver group in transition.
However, a hamstring injury put an end to those ambitions: as was reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss shortly after the club’s announcement of Ellington’s release, he was let go with an injury designation. Ellington will now go through the waiver wire and revert to New England’s injured reserve list if he does not get claimed by another club.
With Ellington gone, the Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart now looks as follows:
Matthew Slater (ST)
Of the eleven wideouts still under contract with New England, only three were on the team’s final roster of the 2018 season: Edelman, Dorsett and Slater were all on the active team for Super Bowl 53. Damoun Patterson, meanwhile, was part of the Patriots’ practice squad, while Braxton Berrios was on injured reserve. The rest of the current wideouts was either on another team (Thomas, Harris) or still in college (Harry, Davis, Meyers, Ubosi).
A twelfth wide receiver, Josh Gordon, remains indefinitely suspended.