Originally written on Pats Propaganda  |  Last updated 11/14/14
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Shocker! Patriots release Leigh Bodden

Just when you think the Pats are done with the blind siding moves for the season they drop a bomb like they did today by releasing Leigh Bodden.

We expected Bodden to return to the starting right cornerback job this season after missing 2010 with a torn rotator cuff, so it was somewhat surprising when reports first emerged from camp that he was playing more in the slot. At the time we wrote it off as the Pats trying to take advantage of Bodden’s skills, while ignoring the fact that perhaps he had just lost a step like corners often do once they pass thirty years old and was no longer able to keep up with the big, physical outside receivers.

However it’s worth noting that slot corner can be an even more difficult assignment for a cornerback as they don’t have the sideline to work with. To us it almost made more sense at the time to have Bodden in there, especially after Kyle Arrington had a solid year in replacing him in 2010.

While Arrington’s emergence might’ve played a part in Bodden’s release, it’s notable that it was actually Ras-I Dowling who was starting at RCB in the opener vs. the Dolphins. But even if Bodden had declined his performance was not the worst of the cornerback group and perhaps most shocking is that the final judgement was passed on Bodden after just six games, especially for a secondary that has been the weak link thus far for the Patriots.

So what does his release mean? First and foremost is probably that someone from the PUP list (Brace, Deaderick or Faulk) will be put on the active roster for this weekend. Second, that the Patriots did not want to pay a slot corner who doesn’t play special teams the kind of money Bodden was scheduled to make (eventhough they could still end up having to pay him anyway if he’s not claimed off waivers). Third, that the Patriots are confident that Ras-I Dowling and/or Antwaun Molden have shown enough potential to make up for the depth they lost by releasing Bodden.

With Dowling’s ever-growing injury history it’s curious that they didn’t just consider putting him on IR and giving Bodden more time to get his mojo back. Of course it’s probably safe to say Belichick wasn’t sure he’d ever get it back.

Add this one to the long list of head scratcher BB moves that we might never have complete clarity on.

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