They announced a handful of moves Friday afternoon, including the surprising releases of defensive lineman Ty Warren and tight end Alge Crumpler. Both had high cap numbers, so the moves weren't of the jaw-dropping variety, but the two veterans were among the most respected players in the New England locker room.
Crumpler was named captain midway through the 2010 season — his first with the team — and his guidance of rookies Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez was extremely essential to their success, particularly because they both entered the season as 20-year-olds.
Crumpler gave off the impression that he was a Bill Belichick type of guy through and through. If the Patriots drafted him, he would have been a New England lifer because of his dedication to his specific role as a leader and a blocking extraordinaire. Crumpler was instrumental in Chris Johnson's 2,000-yard season with the Titans, and there's no doubt he had a big hand in BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 1,000-yard campaign last year.
It's possible the Patriots could re-sign Crumpler once his shoulder heals from offseason surgery, and it would be a wise move to follow through on that.
Warren is a different story. Belichick was obviously unhappy with his decision to skip offseason workouts to attend classes at Texas A&M last year, and those feelings snowballed when Warren needed hip surgery days into training camp in 2010.
The Boston Globe reported Warren pulled a hamstring during Wednesday's conditioning run, which probably wasn't well-received by Belichick after last year's events. Warren's comments to the Globe also made it sound like his time in New England has expired, which would be a tough way for him to go out after a solid career with the Patriots.