Patriots release eight players


Patriots release eight players

By Mary Paoletti Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

The Patriots don't need the roster cut to 53 until Saturday, but they got a head start on the process by releasing eight players Friday.

Wide receiver Buddy Farnham, center Jonathan Compas, running back Richard Medlin, linebacker Ricky Brown, defensive tackle Darryl Richard, tight end Carson Butler, and offensive linemen Mike Berry and Corey Woods were let go. The Pats still need to release 19 more players by Saturday's 4 p.m. deadline.

Both Farnham and Medlin have practice squad eligibility and could return in that capacity. Farnham played several snaps this preseason and on both sides of the ball. A middling receiver (six catches, 48 yards), Farnham is most memorable this year for recording a Week 1 interception at safety. He's been signed and released by the Patriots twice before.

Medlin was signed as a rookie free agent on August 3. He had 20 carries for 66 yards.

Compas got work in all four preseason games on the offensive line.

Richard was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. As a rookie he was relegated to the practice squad. Last season a foot injury kept him on injured reserve.

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Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

Trump wishes Kraft good luck, says Brady called to congratulate him

President-elect Donald Trump made sure to thank a few of his supporters from New England -- particularly those at 1 Patriot Place -- during a speech on the eve of his inauguration to the nation's highest office. 

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady all earned shout-outs from Trump. Kraft was one of many Trump donors present for a dinner at Washington, DC's Union Station, where he was singled out by the soon-to-be-president. 

"In the audience we have somebody that's under no pressure whatsoever because he's got a great quarterback named Tom Brady and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft," Trump said. "Good luck, Bob.

"Your friend Tom Brady just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good. Good luck. You're going to do great."

Trump gave one extra nod to Belichick, who he says taught him to out-work his competition. 

"I out-worked everybody," Trump said. "I think I out-worked anyone who ever ran for office. I learned that from Belichick."

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

Patriots sign TE Rob Housler to future contract

FOXBORO -- The Patriots have signed free-agent tight end Rob Housler to a future contract. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound target last played for the Bears but was released at the end of training camp.

Housler won't be eligible to participate with the Patriots during the postseason, but he will be available for the offseason program and training camp leading up to the 2017 campaign. 

Housler taken in the third round by the Cardinals with the 69th overall selection in 2011. In 65 career games, he has 109 catches for 1,166 yards and one touchdown. 

The Patriots may have been intrigued by Housler's skill set last summer when he caught one pass for 52 yards -- making two Patriots defenders miss in the process -- during a preseason game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots and Bears held joint training camp practices in August that would have given Patriots coaches and scouts a closer look at everything Housler has to offer as a player. 

Housler was one of the better athletes at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2011, running a 4.55-second 40-yard dash (fastest among tight ends), posting a 6.9-second three-cone drill, and recording a 37-inch vertical leap.

Bill Belichick and his staff hit big on a future-contract signing two years ago when a running back with a significant injury history was available to scoop up at the behest of then-assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi. Since then, the Patriots still have never lost with Dion Lewis in uniform.