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Breaking: Patriots trade CB Duke Dawson to the Denver Broncos

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The Patriots’ former second-round corner has been dealt.

NFL: Preseason-New York Giants at New England Patriots Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have traded former second-round cornerback Duke Dawson to the Denver Broncos.

Dawson is the first of what will be many falling dominoes over the next 28 hours, but it is not at all surprising. After missing his entire rookie year with an injury, Dawson simply performed too poorly in a crowded cornerback room to make the Patriots’ 53-man roster.

By finding a trading partner, the Patriots are now off the hook for the former Florida Gator’s $695,676 2019 salary, which was fully guaranteed. The trade creates $382,705 in dead money this year for New England, and $765,410 in 2020, but it opens up a valuable roster spot — potentially for second-year corner Keion Crossen.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, New England will receive a 2020 sixth-round pick from Denver in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round pick and Dawson.