The Aaron Dobson era in New England has come to an end.
According to multiple reports, the Patriots released the 25-year-old wide receiver Saturday in their final round of roster cuts. The decision ends his three-year run with the team that was marked by injuries, inconsistency and unfulfilled expectations.
Drafted in the second round in 2013, Dobson showed promise as a rookie (37 catches, 519 yards, four touchdowns in 12 games) but failed to replicate it, appearing in just 12 games and catching a mere 16 passes over the next two seasons. His 141 receiving yards in eight games last season ranked 10th among Patriots pass-catchers, behind the likes of Scott Chandler and Brandon Bolden.
Dobson entered this summer on the roster bubble and remained there until Thursday’s preseason finale, during which he caught three passes for 61 on seven targets and helped contribute to a Tom Brady interception by allowing a New York Giants defensive back to undercut his route. The Patriots reportedly shopped Dobson on the trade market this week but they apparently did not find any takers.
New England also reportedly cut wideout DeAndre Carter on Saturday, putting Keshawn Martin in a very favorable position to earn a roster spot as the fifth receiver behind Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell.
Chris Harper and rookie Devin Lucien also are vying for that spot but have far longer odds. Harper did not play Thursday against the Giants, and Lucien left the game with an apparent back injury.
UPDATE (1:20 p.m. ET): Well, you can disregard those last two paragraphs. Martin also has been cut, according to a report from CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran.
With Harper and Lucien as the only other options and Amendola and Mitchell both recovering from injuries, it would not be surprising to see the Patriots bring in some receiver reinforcements, either via trade or through the waiver wire.
Martin also was knocked out of Thursday’s preseason finale after suffering an apparent foot or ankle injury while blocking near the goal line.
UPDATE (2:28 p.m.): Harper has been waived, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates. Lucien now is the only fifth receiver hopeful remaining on the roster.
UPDATE (3:37 p.m.): The Patriots will waive Lucien, as well, ESPN’s Mike Reiss reported. Barring a trade or signing, they’ll enter the season with just four wide receivers, not counting special teamer Matthew Slater.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images