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Patriots release Leonard Johnson

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 03:  Greg Jennings #85 of the Miami Dolphins catches the ball past Leonard Johnson #34 of the New England Patriots during the second quarter of the game at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Patriots picked up defensive back Leonard Johnson late in the regular season, but he won’t be sticking around through the start of the new league year.

The Patriots announced Wednesday that they have released Johnson.

Johnson signed with the team on December 9, about a week after he’d been released from injured reserve by the Buccaneers. He played in four regular season games and had 11 tackles and three passes defensed. He was active for both of the team’s playoff games, but did not see any action.

Johnson was placed on injured reserve by the Bucs in early September after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason. He played in all 48 games for Tampa Bay from 2012 to 2014, making 17 starts and intercepting five passes. He turned two of those interceptions into touchdowns and his experience with both teams should put him in position to compete for a role on someone’s roster in 2016.

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15 Responses to “Patriots release Leonard Johnson”
  1. touchdownelvis says: Feb 17, 2016 5:16 PM

    Slightly surprised by this – obviously it’s not a salary cap issue, since his 2016 contract was for the 4th year vet minimum – hard to see on the surface why they wouldn’t keep him on through the off-season as a cheap camp body, at the very least. Only three possibilities that I can see:

    1. BB decided that his dancing was better than his play.

    2. He’s done something off the field which warrants getting cut.

    3. His agent caught wind of someone who would be interested in paying him more, so he asked for a new deal or a release, with an eye to getting at least some sort of signing bonus.

    I suspect that the third is most likely, because I thought he caught the eye a bit in some of the Pats late-season games, in which case good luck to him.

  2. Heath Dill says: Feb 17, 2016 6:13 PM

    Or he’s only worth a camp body for them and they intend to re-sign him to a camp-friendly contract that won’t take as much of a cap hit until he stands out enough this July/August to warrant a revisited deal.

  3. whiteybulgersson says: Feb 17, 2016 6:42 PM

    Had to be done. Trust the hoodie. We will replace him with someone who is far better. Belichick never loses a trade or lets go of someone who is valuable.

  4. connormyboy says: Feb 17, 2016 7:14 PM

    How about he’s not that great of a player.

  5. revren10 says: Feb 17, 2016 7:55 PM

    when do they sign another player from Rutgers or Florida? Lets hope they package some of the comp picks and try and acquire another second round pick this year

  6. bradyakagod says: Feb 17, 2016 8:08 PM

    For the record, one more Superbowl is all the pats need to make the next season if they lose not sting. It will make Brady the only player with 5 and the pats most of any dynasty. And no steelers fans your span of 40 years between superbowls doesn’t count.

  7. ariani1985 says: Feb 17, 2016 8:14 PM

    Come to my team, you would make a good water boy!

  8. patriotsticketssince1978 says: Feb 17, 2016 8:47 PM

    revren10 says:
    Feb 17, 2016 7:55 PM

    when do they sign another player from Rutgers or Florida? Lets hope they package some of the comp picks and try and acquire another second round pick this year
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    FYI- Compensation draft choices can’t be traded. It would be nice considering how badly the league bent them over in the name of parity, er integrity.

  9. tedmurph says: Feb 17, 2016 9:11 PM

    Since the Pats should get a compensatory pick at the end of the 3rd for Revis., I would like to see them trade their regular 2nd and 3rd to get in to the upper half of the 2nd rnd. That would soften the blow of losing the 29th pk a little

  10. lgw91s says: Feb 17, 2016 10:05 PM

    Trading comp picks starts in 2017

  11. mikeremmersisvonsturnstile says: Feb 17, 2016 10:19 PM

    Bradyakagod says:
    For the record, one more Superbowl is all the pats need to make the next season if they lose not sting. It will make Brady the only player with 5 and the pats most of any dynasty. And no steelers fans your span of 40 years between superbowls doesn’t count.
    ______________
    Whatever you have to tell yourself to make yourself feel better about your tainted titles….. Did you ever have the chance to watch football in the 70’s? THAT was domination… Videotaping other teams doesn’t quite constitute domination. The Steelers dominated their Super Bowls. Your team barely beat the Panthers, Rams, and Seahawks. Your win against the Eagles was hardly impressive.

    5 trophy’s of the Steelers > 4 **** trophies of the Pats.

  12. thatotherdave says: Feb 17, 2016 10:36 PM

    Whitey – how did Logan Mankins to TB work out for them? Bill is an all time great, however, he lets his arrogance get the better of him sometimes and we have lost opportunities for championships because of it. See 2006 and Caldwell’s OO eyes for example.

  13. truthinesshurts says: Feb 18, 2016 9:39 AM

    thatotherdave says:
    Feb 17, 2016 10:36 PM
    Whitey – how did Logan Mankins to TB work out for them? Bill is an all time great, however, he lets his arrogance get the better of him sometimes and we have lost opportunities for championships because of it. See 2006 and Caldwell’s OO eyes for example.
    …………….

    Mankins. Yes. Mankins… Watch him do his impression of a turnstyle against the Giants in the Super Bowl, the Broncos in the playoffs a couple of years ago. Caught out of position and watching linemen, not blitzers, run past him uncontested. He was just not good in pass protection when it counted. Firy and gritty player, yes. Good pass protector, no. I was glad to see him go, very overrated plsyer.

  14. trina16 says: Feb 18, 2016 12:39 PM

    thatotherdave says:
    Feb 17, 2016 10:36 PM
    Whitey – how did Logan Mankins to TB work out for them? Bill is an all time great, however, he lets his arrogance get the better of him sometimes and we have lost opportunities for championships because of it. See 2006 and Caldwell’s OO eyes for example.
    ————————-

    Well, they won the SB last year after trading him and this year they were 3 points away from going back. I would say it worked pretty well for them.

  15. tedmurph says: Feb 18, 2016 2:02 PM

    Mankins was being payed like a top 3 NFL guard, but was playing like a dog. When BB rightly asked him to take a pay cut, and Mankins refused, he got traded. Mankins was terrible for TB in 2014, but good in 2015. Pats got TWright, who they got some mileage out of, and the 2nd pk in the 4th rnd in 2015(good prospect, but landed on IR). The Pats got 6 mil in cap space and over 13 mil in cash savings from the trade. Then, during the season, they went out and got guys like AAyers and ABranch(who’s still on the team and had another good yr in 2015), because they had the cap room. Those guys were instrumental in last yrs SBowl win. So, it was about a little more than arrogance. I don’t think Mankins was gonna block Ware, Miller, Wolfe or Jackson either.

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