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Patriots part ways with Brandon LaFell, Scott Chandler

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 03: Brandon LaFell #19 of the New England Patriots attempts to catch a pass past Tony Lippett #36 of the Miami Dolphins during the third quarter of the game at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) Getty Images

With the new league year starting next week, teams are getting their houses in order by dispatching players who are under contract and out of their plans for monetary or performance reasons.

The Patriots joined that group on Wednesday. According to multiple reports, they have released wide receiver Brandon LaFell and tight end Scott Chandler.

LaFell spent two seasons with the Patriots and played a significant role in their offense on the way to their Super Bowl XLIX victory over the Seahawks. LaFell caught 74 passes for 953 yards and seven touchdowns during the 2014 regular season before adding 13 more catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs. One of those touchdowns produced the first points of the Super Bowl and LaFell had another catch to set up Julian Edelman’s go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.

A foot injury kept him out early in 2015 and problems holding onto the ball that included six drops in a game against the Jets kept him from repeating his success of the previous year once he was healthy. His departure saves the team $2.675 million under the cap.

Chandler signed with the Patriots as a free agent last year and his arrival created some hype about two tight end packages with Rob Gronkowski, but Chandler had minimal impact for New England. He didn’t have a catch in the last four weeks of the regular season or in either postseason game, which likely made it easy for the Patriots to decide to move on and pocket over $2 million in cap space.

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40 Responses to “Patriots part ways with Brandon LaFell, Scott Chandler”
  1. patsxsaintsfan says: Mar 2, 2016 5:13 PM

    We wouldn’t have won that super bowl without Lafell he was amazing his first year however many drops and never truly getting healthy made it an easy choice for the pats. Thanks for the help Brandon best of luck

  2. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Mar 2, 2016 5:17 PM

    Some of Lafell’s drops were poorly thrown passes by Brady. Especially passes that travelled over 20 yards. I don’t know why McDaniels kept calling for medium to long passes. Brady has neither the arm strength nor the accuracy to hit those passes anymore.

  3. playsanity says: Mar 2, 2016 5:17 PM

    So you are saying Lafell played to form in year two? He was a drop machine in Carolina which made it easy for us to dump him.

  4. buckyfan1965 says: Mar 2, 2016 5:24 PM

    Great guy and he killed it in 2014 for the Pats. But they definitely need an upgrade at receiver who can go deep.

  5. harrisonhits2 says: Mar 2, 2016 5:26 PM

    That woosh you all just heard was a collective sigh of relief from Pats fans.

    Good riddance to both.

  6. spammerscrammer says: Mar 2, 2016 5:28 PM

    Not a surprise. They were Chandler and Lafell were both disappointments. The team needed them to step up when Gronk and Edelman went down and neither was able to.
    At least the Patriots appear to be clear-eyed on what they need to improve on. The line and receiver depth are definitely high on the list.

  7. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says: Mar 2, 2016 5:29 PM

    Given every chance to shine Chandler was less than pedestrian. In a TE friendly offense with one of the best QB’s of all time that just doesn’t cut it.

    LaFell was an integral part of the SB team but absolutely brutal after coming back from injury. Managed to be sixth overall in drops in only 11 games, still trying to figure out how a foot injury did that to his hands…

  8. sbhntr says: Mar 2, 2016 5:32 PM

    The picture tells the story

  9. edelmanfanclub says: Mar 2, 2016 5:35 PM

    Too much to pay Chandler who isn’t that great of blocker. LaFell always had a poor hands but was very good as a our 3rd/4th option in 14. He dropped off hard in 2015, He’s good enough to land on his feet though.

  10. bradyakagod says: Mar 2, 2016 5:37 PM

    Every pass Chandler was about to catch this past season looked like he had the sun in his eyes and he didn’t look natural catching any pass.

  11. gregbeau says: Mar 2, 2016 5:39 PM

    No surprises here. They both had bad years and upgrading at the positions should not be too difficult.

  12. tedmurph says: Mar 2, 2016 5:40 PM

    Tyms is gone too. I like Amendola, but I don’t think he gets a 5 mil salary or they take a 7 mil cap hit for him. It’s gonna be interesting.

  13. touchdownelvis says: Mar 2, 2016 5:42 PM

    With LaFell, I think that cut was obvious after that post about DeAngelo Williams saying that nobody outside of Brady liked Bill Belichick. Given that DeAngelo’s only obvious connection to the Pats locker room would have been LaFell, who played with him for a few years in Carolina, the dots weren’t too hard to join.

    Be interesting to see who the Pats target in FA or the draft in terms of pass catchers, because they’ll have to do something.

  14. 6ball says: Mar 2, 2016 5:45 PM

    .
    My favorite memory of Scott Chandler is how it took three O lineman to restrain Brady from choking Chandler after he dropped a 22 yd cream puff at Denver.
    .

  15. jag1959 says: Mar 2, 2016 5:49 PM

    LaFell didn’t fall off the planet this year, he reverted to what he was in Carolina. It was actually ’14 that was the aberration for Sir Dropsalot.

    What happened with Chandler is the real head scratcher. Guy on the rise goes to a TE oriented team that threw the ball at higher % than any other winning team and given every opportunity manages to disappear from the stat sheet while simultaneously forgetting how to block? Thought the rich were getting richer when NE brought him in, it really makes no sense.

  16. gysot says: Mar 2, 2016 5:50 PM

    Noodle arm brady can no longer deliver the ball accurately or on time past 7 yards down field. IE the AFC Championship game.

  17. luckyjim1980 says: Mar 2, 2016 5:50 PM

    With the Brady restructure, Mayo’s retirement, and now the release of La Fell and Chandler, the Pats cap space for 2016 is suddenly greater. Add extensions for C. Jones, Collins and/or Hightower, and then the possibilities become very intriguing.

  18. jolink653 says: Mar 2, 2016 5:51 PM

    I think Lafell’s foot injury had a lot to do with why he looked so off last season. I had been hoping they would give him this season to make up for last season, but I guess they’re going in another direction. Maybe they’re looking at Colston to replace Lafell? Or maybe this is a make-or-break year for Dobson and they’re just going to throw him out there to see what he can do. Chandler was an easy decision; every pass to him was an adventure. That many drops will get you cut. Could be Belichick likes Mike Williams better for that role because of his versatility. Wish both of them the best though

  19. iseek11 says: Mar 2, 2016 5:52 PM

    Who didn’t see this coming? What with all the depth in the receiving corps and all. I expect to hear of O-line cast offs next. Their offense is pretty complicated and they seem to think someone better is right around the corner and will just step in. Not gonna happen so easily. Brady is exceptional, but he doesn’t make players around him better. He just bullies them to measure up. Doesn’t work and the carousel continues.

  20. pbinpb57 says: Mar 2, 2016 6:02 PM

    With LaFell, I think that cut was obvious after that post about DeAngelo Williams saying that nobody outside of Brady liked Bill Belichick. Given that DeAngelo’s only obvious connection to the Pats locker room would have been LaFell, who played with him for a few years in Carolina, the dots weren’t too hard to join.
    ————————————

    Good grief….that’s a bit of a stretch.

  21. tylawspick6 says: Mar 2, 2016 6:07 PM

    Resign Hicks and Forte to NE in about 10 days.

  22. fanofpft says: Mar 2, 2016 6:10 PM

    luckyjim1980 says:
    Mar 2, 2016 5:50 PM

    With the Brady restructure, Mayo’s retirement, and now the release of La Fell and Chandler, the Pats cap space for 2016 is suddenly greater. Add extensions for C. Jones, Collins and/or Hightower, and then the possibilities become very intriguing.

    Lose 3 sign 3 AKA treading water.

  23. youknowiknowitall says: Mar 2, 2016 6:11 PM

    How does a WR stick around as long as LaFell did without having the ability to catch the ball with his HANDS? The dude cradled everything he caught. His hands were always at his waist. If he had to reach at all the pass was dropped. And it was so maddening that he would NEVER go up to get the ball over the shorter DBs.

    I have no idea at all what Chandler’s problems were but it was apparent fairly early in the season that he was going to be a non-factor.

    So, clearly time to move on from both of these guys.

  24. liquidfrozentundra says: Mar 2, 2016 6:28 PM

    wouldn’t mind if the packers can scoop up scott chandler, or ladarius green

  25. grogansheroes says: Mar 2, 2016 6:32 PM

    luckyjim1980 says:
    Mar 2, 2016 5:50 PM
    With the Brady restructure, Mayo’s retirement, and now the release of La Fell and Chandler, the Pats cap space for 2016 is suddenly greater. Add extensions for C. Jones, Collins and/or Hightower, and then the possibilities become very intriguing.
    ————————————————————-
    There’s no way they sign Jones. He is going to want big money, gets hurt all the time, and disappears in big games. They will sign Collins, Hightower, and Butler. May pick up Mario Williams on a one year, improve his stock type deal, after the clusterfudge in Buffalo.

  26. kissbillsrings says: Mar 2, 2016 6:36 PM

    I see Cannon gone next….& Danny A will need to restructure his deal or he’ll be a cap casualty as well & I like the kid….man if we could somehow swing a deal for Megatron….nice to dream I guess

  27. greenmtnboy31 says: Mar 2, 2016 6:45 PM

    Making room for Matt Forte and Roddy White.

  28. ebr362 says: Mar 2, 2016 6:50 PM

    Pats will sign Rishard Matthews.

  29. dewey51 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:04 PM

    Very predictable that both would get cut. I know the coaching staff and Brady wished things had turned out differently for JoJo LaFell.

    He was very impressive in 2014 – bought in to the whole Patriot Way thing.

  30. 6ball says: Mar 2, 2016 7:21 PM

    .
    Don’t be surprised to see Chandler Jones in a Jaguars uniform next season. Was anyone disappointed in the play of Jabaal Sheard last year ?
    .

  31. flash1287 says: Mar 2, 2016 7:29 PM

    gysot says:
    Mar 2, 2016 5:50 PM
    Noodle arm brady can no longer deliver the ball accurately or on time past 7 yards down field. IE the AFC Championship game.

    Except when he did.

  32. savethenflfirerogergoodell says: Mar 2, 2016 7:43 PM

    good. these two guys are bums

  33. dwhcic says: Mar 2, 2016 7:54 PM

    Good. Not worth the money or roster spots.

  34. bonitalocal says: Mar 2, 2016 8:19 PM

    Chandler sucked!
    He looked like he was in slow motion all of the time. No sense of urgency.
    Crappy hands.
    He was just collecting his paycheck.
    I can’t believe he lasted as long as he did.
    I’m glad he’s gone!
    Why did we get rid of Tim Wright and then pick up Chandler? In Bill we trust…..but it’s not the way I would have done it.

  35. TheWizard says: Mar 2, 2016 8:26 PM

    Imagine the last 10 years if the Patriots could have hit on a receiver in the draft.

    Been a long time since Stanley Morgan.

  36. nhpats says: Mar 2, 2016 8:52 PM

    Pats are retooling for another run.

  37. artworkworld says: Mar 3, 2016 12:34 AM

    I understand that Lafell had a bad year, but I would have her on to him until I was sure I had a quality replacement. Drafting a WR has not worked out for the Patriots for a long time & it takes a while for even a veteran to learn the offense. He showed he could do it in 2014.

    Chandler just didn’t perform.

  38. patsfiend says: Mar 3, 2016 6:35 AM

    Did someone just say that the solution is Aaron Dobson!? Please.

  39. grogantomorgan says: Mar 3, 2016 8:09 AM

    The Patriots could be under the cap by $20M+ (with the Brady extension). That’ll give them some room to resign key players and fish out some spare parts from FA.

    Next on the chopping/restructure block;

    Cannon
    Ammendola

    Overall, this off season is going to plan.

  40. RE LEE says: Mar 3, 2016 12:46 PM

    Dobson should be gone next. Keep Amendola.
    Gronk is the only elite one Brady has. The rest Brady has to twist and fashion to serve his needs. I hope BB gets him a really good receiver. Imagine what Brady can do with the likes of Julio Jones or Antonio Brown. All these years he never had one like them except for Moss in his old age.
    Brady probably will leave money on the table again. The Pats will have a little bit of money to play with and hopefully they spend a bit more for Brady’s receivers.

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