Patriots release OL Nick McDonald, WRs Perez Ashford and Lavelle Hawkins
McDonald is the most notable of the trio, after spending the past two seasons with the Patriots, while appearing in total 16 games with three starts during that span. The fourth-year pro McDonald saw substantial time at guard last season, playing 12 games with one start. Prior to that, McDonald spent his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers in 2010.
Although McDonald played an important role in the trenches and added versatility to the offensive line with his ability to play at every position on the line, the Patriots opted to waive him with a “failed physical” designation. He had yet to practice with the team in training camp.
The 28-year-old McDonald’s release should impact the Patriots’ depth at offensive line, even though he wasn’t a regular starter with the team.
Hawkins was signed by the Patriots to a two-year deal, just eight days after his release by the Tennessee Titans on May 1. Originally drafted as a fourth-round pick out of the University of California in 2008, Hawkins spent the first five seasons if his career with the Titans, starting 52 career games while registering 71 receptions for 771 yards and one touchdown.
The27-year-old Hawkins’ best season came in 2011, when he appeared in all 16 games for the Titans (with two starts), catching 47 passes for 470 yards, and scoring his only career touchdown.
Undrafted rookie Ashford signed with the Patriots on July 19, but didn’t stick around for even two weeks in Foxboro. Earlier this offseason, Ashford also signed with the Cleveland Browns after going undrafted in April’s draft, but he was cut on May 30.
The Northern Illinois product hauled in 110 passes for 1,192 yards and four touchdowns during his four-year career as a Huskie.