Not even a year after investing a second-round draft pick to bring Mohamed Sanu on board via trade from the Atlanta Falcons, the New England Patriots decided to part ways with the veteran wide receiver again. Sanu was officially released on Thursday as part of the first three roster moves of this year’s cutdowns.
Why did the team make the move despite its lack of proven depth at the position and the investment that was made ahead of last season’s trade deadline? According to Bill Belichick, things just did not work out between the two parties.
“It’s just one of those things that just didn’t work out,” said the Patriots’ head coach during a media conference call on Friday. “I have a lot of respect for Mo, but, ultimately, things just didn’t work out. I think he tried very hard. I think we tried hard. I don’t think it was anybody’s fault or anything like that. It was just one of those situations that just didn’t work out as well as I think everyone hoped it would have when the transaction was made.
Sanu’s tenure with the Patriots was originally off to a good start after he joined the team last October. After being used in a rotational capacity in his first game and catching a pair of passes for 23 yards, the ex-Falcon had one of his most productive game of the season the following week against the Baltimore Ravens: he caught 10 passes for 81 yards and a score going against one of the NFL’s best defenses. It was not meant to last, however.
In the very next game, he suffered a high-ankle sprain that would require offseason surgery and change his trajectory with the club. Sanu did eventually return to the practice field when New England started its new-look training camp, but he never quite returned to the form that made him an exciting member of the team’s passing offense in 2019 — if only for one short week. Now, his stint with the Patriots is over again.
“As always, we’ll try to make the decisions that we feel are best for the football team, whether that’s bringing a person in or releasing a player,” added Belichick on Friday. “Obviously, it can go both ways. So at this point in time, we felt like that’s best for the team. Last year, we felt differently, but we’re in a little different situation this year.”