(Photo Credit, Taormina / USA TODAY Sports)
By Jeff Kane
The Patriots shocked the football world and the world of many Patriots fans on Wednesday afternoon as they released 2014 first round pick, Dominique Easley. Easley who was selected out of Florida two drafts ago as the 29th overall player selected was viewed by some to be a top ten talent. Tears to the ACL in both of his knees made him a risky pick.
After the 2014 season ended with Easley on injured reserve, Easley was looking every bit the talented playmaker that Bill Belichick had envisioned he would be. Alas, he ended up on injured reserve again last season and the Patriots have now moved on. One has to wonder if the release of Easley could have other factors in it other than the injuries.
Jason La Canfora tweeted the following.
Patriots release of Easley is not a pure performance/football matter. Off field issues related to the decision to part w/ former top pick
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) April 13, 2016
However, Tom Curran of CSNNE who was first to report the story tweeted the following.
Regarding Easley, there is no one incident that led to release. Call it philosophical differences on following injury programs, etc
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) April 13, 2016
It is very rare to see the Patriots give up on a first-round pick so early, even Lawrence Maroney received four seasons before he was traded to the Broncos. Even more stunning is the fact that Belichick and the Patriots have had a remarkable run of selecting quality players in the first round.
The signing of Terrance Knighton is now even more of important. The Patriots most certainly will now be looking at a defensive tackle in the NFL Draft as this is a deep year for the position.
Bobby Krivitsky and I spoke about certain Patriots draft targets at the Defensive Tackle position on this week’s Inside the Hoodie Podcast.