The New England Patriots on Monday released linebacker Shea McClellin
McClellin spent two seasons with the Patriots but only saw game action in one. He began the 2017 season on injured reserve — reportedly with a concussion — and after returning to practice in mid-October, he suffered a setback before he could rejoin the 53-man roster and wound up remaining on IR through the end of the year.
ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report news of McClellin’s release, which the Patriots later announced.
McClellin also tweeted his appreciation for the Patriots organization.
The nature and severity of McClellin’s injury raises the question of whether the 28-year-old now will retire. That reportedly is not his intention, as a source told the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe last week that McClellin, who was listed on injury reports with concussions in 2012, 2015 and 2016, intends to play in 2018.
McClellin, who was drafted 19th overall by the Chicago Bears in 2012, played in 14 games for the Patriots in 2016, tallying 41 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks. Releasing him saves the Patriots $2.35 million in salary cap space.
Linebacker is a position of need this offseason for the Patriots, who have Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Harvey Langi and Nicholas Grigsby under contract for the 2018 season. Hightower and Langi are coming off season-ending injuries.
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