The New England Patriots have a deep and talented group of wide receivers — especially after the returns of Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas. As a result of this depth, however, some tough cuts will need to be made. The first of which apparently happened today: as first reported by ESPN’s Field Yates, New England has decided to release offseason acquisition Maurice Harris.
Harris originally joined the Patriots early during free agency, after Washington had declined to place a tender sheet on the restricted free agent. This allowed New England to pick him up on a one-year, $1.0 million contract — a deal that did not guarantee him a spot on the team. That being said, Harris looked like a roster lock during his first practices with the team both during organized team activities and training camp.
The 26-year-old continued to shine early on in training camp: he proved himself a capable receiving weapon no matter where he lined up, and quickly built chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady. His success continued into preseason, as he caught 3 passes for 27 yards and a touchdown during the Patriots’ first (Brady-less) exhibition contest. However, things went downhill from that point as an injury during joint practices with the Tennessee Titans sealed his fate.
Harris went on to miss the next two exhibition games, and saw other wide receivers either return or seemingly surpass him on the depth chart. The Patriots moved on from him now, proving once again that roster spots are not won in the spring.