The Patriots' confidence in their young receivers has meant the departure of another veteran acquired in the offseason.
Michael Jenkins, the 31-year-old former first-round pick, has been released.
Jenkins started well in training camp but he’s been laid low by a leg injury for a couple of weeks. He didn’t travel with the Patriots to Philly last week and hasn’t been on the field this week with the Buccaneers.
Jenkins joins former Titans receiver Lavelle Hawkins and former Bills wideout Donald Jones as veterans the Patriots signed in the offseason but have already released.
The cause-and-effect between the quick transition Patriots first-year players have made and the release of these veterans is impossible to overlook.
Hawkins and Jenkins had their chances early in camp but neither stood out in the same manner that Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins all have. That, in a way, is the most solid and validating evidence that the young wideouts aren’t being built up beyond what they deserve.
They earned the reps they’ve been given. And the players the Patriots imported simply weren’t able to keep up.