Safety James Sanders has been cut by the New England Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald. Sanders was a regular contributor in the Pats' secondary for six seasons. Last year he recorded 42 tackles and a career high three interceptions in 15 games.
Sanders' departure is somewhat shocking considering how thin the Patriots are behind starts Brandon Meriwether and Patrick Chung. As the depth chart currently stands, Sergio Brown and James Ihedigbo will be the first to see repetitions after the starters. Neither one has proven to be a consistent performer at any point in their young careers.
According to SB Nation Boston, Sanders was caught off guard by the decision as well.
"It was a shock. It wasn't one of the things I was expecting to hear today. It didn't cross my mind," Sanders said.
Sanders did struggle with a hamstring injury early on in camp, but he was able to practice this past week. He should be able to find his away onto an NFL roster in due time. Meanwhile, don't be surprised if the Patriots look for another body to plug into the secondary.
For more on the Patriots' offseason, check out Pats Pulpit.