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I'm sure you're all saying "I thought he was gone already", but the New England Patriots have only just officially released Guard Brian Waters, as nfl.com reported.

Waters joined the team for the 2011 season, and was an immediate success at Right Guard. He made his sixth Pro Bowl, and was a key reason to why the Patriots went all the way to the Super Bowl. But in 2012, he refused to come back, saying he wanted to play closer to Texas.

The Patriots offensive line was crucial to them reaching Super Bowl XLVI. That season saw even more of an increase in the no huddle offense, and Waters was healthy all year, something which the Pats have had trouble with, and he never had a noticeably bad game, he just "did his job". And that Patriots line was once again a main contender for the "Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award", which they won in 2010, and were finalists for in the 2011 season.

The absence of Waters looked to be a key issue heading into the 2012 season, however Dan Connolly proved to be a good replacement and the Patriots offensive line coped without him, despite injuries throughout the year.

However, his presence didn't go totally unnoticed, as Tom Brady seemed to be more vulnerable to pressure up the middle, but this didn't stop him putting up yet another great Tom Brady year, and the run game didn't suffer at all, with Stevan Ridley having a breakout year with over 1,200 yards.

The departure of Waters happened a year ago, but it officially happened yesterday. At 36, and coming off a year of no football, this is probably it for Waters. Which is a shame, as he probably had another year in him. But that's life in the NFL for you...

I'm on Twitter @BrendanAnnely

Brendan Annely 5/01/2013 11:28:00 AM Edit
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