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Pats Part Ways with Mitchell

August 7, 2018

The New England Patriots have released wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell. AP PHOTO Sentinel and Enterprise staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Kevin Duffy

Boston Herald

The New England Patriots released third-year receiver Malcolm Mitchell, a source confirmed Monday.

Mitchell, whose lack of durability has been a concern, has not practiced this summer.

He underwent a procedure prior to training camp to determine the extent and cause of discomfort in his knee, a source said. The procedure was not characterized as a surgery.

While Mitchell was present for the start of most training camp practices, he did not participate in any positional or team drills. He was limited to warm-ups and rehab work on the lower practice field.

Mitchell is the second prominent Patriots receiver to be released this summer. The team also cut ties with veteran Jordan Matthews, who signed a one-year deal in the spring.

To replace Matthews, the Patriots brought in 31-year-old Eric Decker.

Following a promising rookie season, Mitchell’s career in New England was derailed by knee issues. He missed spring workouts in 2017 and never appeared to be fully comfortable in training camp. In a preseason game against the Texans last summer, Mitchell repeatedly grabbed at his right knee. He was placed on injured reserve weeks later, and he remained there for the entirety of the 2017 season.

The knee problems lingered during the 2018 offseason, and the Patriots decided to move on.

Mitchell entered the league in 2016 as a fourth-round pick. He dropped in the draft due to medical concerns; a torn ACL sidelined him in 2013 and he underwent an additional knee surgery at the beginning of the 2014 season.

In his lone year playing for the Pats, Mitchell emerged as a reliable target for Tom Brady. He caught six passes for 70 yards during New England’s miraculous Super Bowl LI comeback. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Mitchell averaged 65.8 yards and scored four touchdowns from Weeks 11-14 of his rookie season.

His ability to win on possession routes and tack on yards after the catch made him one of the best rookie receivers in recent team history.

Following Mitchell’s release, the top of the Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart consists of Julian Edelman (serving a four-game suspension to begin the season), Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Eric Decker, and Kenny Britt.

Britt is working his way back from a hamstring injury suffered in early June.

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