The New England Patriots released backup offensive lineman Hayden Howerton on Friday, the team announced.
Howerton, 24, originally joined the Patriots as a practice squad pickup in November. He did not see any game action for the team down the stretch, but was nonetheless signed to a reserve/futures pact after its season had come to an end.
A 53-game starter at center and guard during his college career at Southern Methodist, Howerton did not hear his name called in the 2022 NFL Draft. He joined the Tennessee Titans as a rookie free agent, and ended up spending all of training camp and preseason with head coach Mike Vrabel’s team.
Despite seeing extensive action in all three preseason games, and playing 105 total snaps between offense and special teams, the versatile interior lineman was let go as part of Tennessee’s roster cutdowns. Two months later, he found his way to New England.
With the 6-foot-3, 300-pounder no longer part of the team, its current roster — including players either under contract or signed to futures pacts — now stands at 58 deep. Six of those spots belong to interior offensive linemen such as Howerton: the starting three of Cole Strange, David Andrews and Michael Onwenu are joined by depth options Chasen Hines, Kody Russey and Bill Murray.
Releasing Howerton marks the second time this offseason a player previously signed to a futures contract was let go. In February, defensive tackle LaBryan Ray was waived despite previously being kept around on such a deal.