The Jonathan Cooper era in New England has ended before it truly could begin.
The Patriots on Saturday released Cooper, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates. The 26-year-old guard had yet to appear in a game for New England as he continued to recover from a foot injury suffered during the first week of training camp.
In a corresponding move, the Patriots signed defensive lineman Woodrow Hamilton off their practice squad, a source told NESN.com’s Doug Kyed. Hamilton will shore up the team’s defensive front, which lacked depth entering Sunday’s matchup with the Cleveland Browns.
Cooper’s reported release came three days after he was removed from the Patriots’ injury report for the first time this season. He had been listed as a limited participant in practice until Wednesday.
“It’s nice to continue to work, get better, improve every day,” Cooper said Thursday. “Pretty much just coming off the injury report, it was like, ‘All right.’ Now I’ll just continue to work, continue to improve day by day and see how I can help the team.”
New England acquired Cooper, the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, from the Cardinals this past offseason in the trade that sent defensive end Chandler Jones to Arizona. The Patriots also received a 2016 second-round draft pick as part of the deal.
The Patriots later flipped that second-round pick to the New Orleans Saints for a third-rounder and a fourth-rounder, which they used to draft guard Joe Thuney and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
Thuney has played every offensive snap this season as New England’s starting left guard, and Mitchell has caught four passes for 75 yards over four games after recovering from a preseason elbow injury.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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