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Report: Patriots release Devine Ozigbo after adding a pair of running backs in the NFL Draft

Related: Meet the Patriots’ 2022 draft class

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The New England Patriots have made their first post-draft roster cut. As first reported by Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the team has decided to let running back Devine Ozigbo go after selecting two players at the position on Day 3 of the NFL Draft.

Ozigbo, 25, originally joined the Patriots as a practice squad player in late November. He spent the rest of the 2021 season on the team’s developmental roster and despite not seeing any game action was signed to a reserve/futures contract after the season.

With the Patriots adding South Dakota State’s Pierre Strong in the fourth round of the draft, and South Carolina’s Kevin Harris arriving two rounds later, however, Ozigbo’s fate was sealed. He is expected to draw some interest on the open market, per Wilson, but his time in New England is now over.

Starting his career as a rookie free agent with the New Orleans Saints in 2019, the Nebraska product saw his first in-game action as a member of the Jaguars later that season. Ozigbo went on to spend the better part of his first two years as a pro in Jacksonville and appeared in a total of 19 games. A reserve running back who played primarily on special teams, he touched the football 22 times for 97 yards.

He briefly returned to the Saints in 2021 — adding two more games as well as a pair of additional touches for a combined 4 yards to his résumé — before eventually finding his way back to the Jaguars. Ozigbo was waived again in late November, which allowed him to join the Patriots.

Releasing him now frees up a spot on a deep running back room that added Strong and Harris just this weekend. The remaining backs on the roster are led by Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson, and also include James White, J.J. Taylor and running back/wide receiver-hybrid Ty Montgomery.

According to Miguel Benzan, the move also frees up $15,000 in salary cap space.