The Patriots released defensive tackle Dominique Easley on Wednesday, ending his run with the team less than two full years after he was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft.
Easley’s two seasons with the Patriots saw him perform solidly when he was on the field, although he wasn’t on the field as often as the team would have liked. He missed 10 games over the last two years with a variety of injuries, although one of Easley’s former teammates in New England told Ben Volin of the Boston Globe that health wasn’t the only reason he was unsurprised by Wednesday’s news.
“Saw that coming,” Easley’s unnamed former teammate said. “Injuries and locker room cancer.”
Easley reportedly butted heads with the Patriots over how to rehab his injuries and Volin spoke to other league sources who advanced the narrative of Easley upsetting people off the field. One source called Easley “disrespectful and irresponsible” and he faces a lawsuit from a friend who says Easley’s dog attacked him while he was staying at Easley’s house. Per Volin, Easley is also bracing for a pair of other lawsuits.
The Patriots took a cap hit to get rid of Easley and will be on the hook for his entire salary if he doesn’t land another job, so there doesn’t appear to have been much hope in New England that things were going to get better. We’ll find out Thursday if another team is willing to make the opposite bet by claiming Easley off of waivers.