Friday, October 28, 2011
Patriots Release Leigh Bodden Two Days Before Facing Pittsburgh
Leigh Bodden was no longer a starting cornerback for the New England Patriots. He had fallen to third on the depth chart in the 2011 season and he didn't appear to be making the proper adjustments when it came to covering slot receivers.
Still, I have to say that I was surprised when I saw on ESPN's Bottom Line this afternoon that the Pats had released him. I guess that means he won't be making his weekly appearance on the Sports Hub's Felger and Mazz anymore.
Bodden spent three seasons in New England and they were strange ones. He came in as a free agent in 2009 and performed very well with five interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and a touchdown. That earned him a four-year, $22 million dollar deal (with approximately $10 million guaranteed).
A torn rotator cuff in a preseason game in 2010 made him miss the entire season and it was clear so far this season, that he wasn't the same player anymore (13 tackles, four assists, four passes defensed) in six games.
In Bodden's place, Antwaun Molden figures to move up a spot behind starters Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington. This is a scary proposition since Molden was picked up off the scrap heap from Houston during the preseason. I can't say I know much about him but he obviously doesn't have much of a resume.
As far as the injury report goes for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh, Patriots linebacker Dane Fletcher is out and cornerback Ras-I Dowling is doubtful. Linebacker Jerod Mayo, safety Josh Barrett, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth and offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer are all questionable for New England.
For the Steelers, linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds, offensive linemen Chris Hoke and Doug Legursky are all out. Linebacker James Farrior and wide receiver Hines Ward are questionable.
UPDATE 10/29: The Patriots activated veteran running back Kevin Faulk from the PUP list along with defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick and placed Dowling on IR. So if you're a cornerback that can play, report to Foxborough immediately.
UPDATE 10/30: Ward and Farrior have been declared out for today's game. Mayo and Vollmer both return today. Healthy scratches for the Pats include defensive end Jermaine Cunningham (what has happened to him?), running back Shane Vereen, offensive lineman Donald Thomas (who I've never heard of) and wide receiver Julian Edelman.