The Patriots released cornerback Phillip Adams on Tuesday, and the roster transaction could mean any number of things.
Adams played primarily in the slot in nickel and dime packages, though he received some work on the outside at times this season, most notably when Antwaun Molden was benched in the second half against the Steelers.
The decision to release Adams was relatively surprising, even from a team that had already parted ways with some bigger-name players earlier in the season. Adams seemed to play well in his role on defense, and he performed with some attitude, getting in opponents' faces and not shying away from contact during and after the play.
There was no concurrent roster transaction, so the Patriots only had 52 players on the active roster after Adams' release. Of course, any transaction leads to the possibility of safety Ross Ventrone getting promoted from the practice squad, but it's still unclear at this point. The Patriots will likely announce another move in time for Wednesday's practice.
Adams' release could be a positive sign for the health of safety Patrick Chung or cornerback Devin McCourty, though the former would make more sense. Chung, who has missed the last three games with a foot injury, could return to his traditional spot, which would move Sterling Moore from safety to slot cornerback.
Moore, a cornerback by trade, has played on the outside and in the slot, and he has started at safety for the last three games. With Kyle Arrington, Molden, Moore and Julian Edelman in the mix, the Patriots would have four cornerbacks on the roster if Chung was healthy enough to get back on the field this week.