News broke yesterday that Darius Butler was out of New England, but today it was made official. The Patriots also announced the release of DT Gerard Warren.
The two open roster spots will be filled by new Patriots signees TE Dan Gronkowski and LB A.J. Edds.
Warren played in all 16 games for the Patriots last season, making 10 starts. He tallied 36 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Warren could return to the Patriots at some point to make their already deep D-line even deeper, but only if he's not picked up elsewhere first.
Gronkowski will join his brother Rob in the Patriots' tight end corps and will likely serve as a blocking tight end, perhaps filling the role Alge Crumpler served last season. Gronkowski caught eight balls for 65 yards 12 games with the Broncos last season.
A.J. Edds led the Dolphins in tackles this preseason but was released, according to several accounts, perhaps prematurely.
He was a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft but spent his entire rookie season on the Injured Reserve after tearing his ACL.
Edds made 219 tackles in his four-year career at Iowa. He also intercepted seven passes, including five during his senior year.
The release of Edds was a bit of a surprise because after missing his rookie season, Edds has yet to show what he's capable of.
He looks to fit into a middle linebacker role on the Pats, but has the ability to play a number of positions.
Check out Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran's Morning Walk-Through for more on the former 'Phin.