Patriots cut Ras-I Dowling

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In a surprise move, the Patriots have cut cornerback Ras-I Dowling.

Adam Schefter of ESPN was the first to report that the Patriots made the move, and it was confirmed on the league’s transaction wire on Wednesday afternoon.

Heading into the 2011 NFL draft, the Patriots liked Dowling so much that they took him with the first pick in the second round (a pick they had previously acquired in a trade with the Panthers). And Dowling showed early promise, starting the first two games of the season.

But Dowling suffered a hip injury in Week Two of his rookie year and missed the rest of the season, and Dowling’s 2012 season was also cut short because of an injury, this time a torn muscle in his thigh. Through two seasons Dowling has played in only nine games.

Now Dowling is done in New England.