The Patriots made their signings of tight end Visanthe Shiancoe and defensive end Tim Bulman official on Wednesday afternoon and they slipped another previously unreported transaction into the press release.
Running back Joseph Addai has been giving his walking papers before the team officially starts training camp on Thursday. The longtime Colt signed with the Patriots in May, but obviously didn’t show them enough over the course of the offseason to earn an invitation to show them something more over the summer.
The move solidifies Stevan Ridley at the top of the running back depth chart in New England with fellow 2011 draft pick Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead and undrafted rookie Brandon Bolden also currently on the roster. It was thought that Addai could fill a role similar to the one Kevin Faulk — who, incidentally, still hasn’t officially retired — played in recent seasons, but Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reported that Addai looked “unimpressive” during spring work and the Patriots brain trust seems to agree with that assessment.
You have to wonder if Addai will get too many looks now that he’s back on the open market. The obvious team that comes to mind is Denver where Lance Ball, the uninspiring Knowshon Moreno and rookie Ronnie Hillman are behind Willis McGahee. Outside of Addai’s relationship with Peyton Manning, though, there’s nothing about Addai that makes him an obviously better choice than any of those guys.
Addai has played just 20 games over the last two seasons and his production was nowhere near what it was earlier in his career. Other available backs have been healthier and more productive, which might mean Addai has to wait for an injury to open up a spot he’s capable of filling.