Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports, Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
The Patriots have parted ways with two players who were supposed to be big factors in the offense this past season. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell and Scott Chandler were both released just a short time ago.
Patriots released WR Brandon LaFell and TE Scott Chandler, per @MikeReiss and me.
The news may not be a surprise to some, as rumors about the futures of both players were swirling for the last couple of weeks.
LaFell, whom the Patriots signed as an unrestricted free agent prior to the 2014-2015 season, never seemed to find his way this year. He missed the first six weeks of the 2015-2016 season with a foot injury and by the AFC Championship Game, he was the fourth receiver on the depth chart. LaFell finished the year catching 37 passes for 515 yards and no touchdowns.
He was instrumental in the Patriots' Super Bowl-winning season, however. Despite being known for dropping a lot of passes, LaFell hauled in 74 balls for 953 yards and seven touchdowns, all career highs. In the playoffs that year, he caught 13 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns, one of which was the game-winning score to beat the Baltimore Ravens in one of the greatest AFC Divisional Round games of all time.
LaFell thanked Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick and the rest of the organization on his Instagram page.
A photo posted by Brandon JoJo LaFell (@blafell1) on
Meanwhile, Chandler may not be missed as much. A thorn in the Patriots' side as a member of the Buffalo Bills, many believed Chandler would be an amazing red zone target for Tom Brady. Turns out Chandler was rarely heard from in that area, as he caught 23 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns and saw his role crumble as the season progressed.
With LaFell gone, the need for wide receiver depth becomes more apparent for the Patriots. The statuses of Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson are still up in the air, and there isn't much to work with in terms of other free agents.