The New England Patriots have announced the release of three players as they get ready for their third preseason game against the Detroit Lions on Thursday night. The team has let go of offensive lineman R.J. Mattes, linebacker A.J. Edds and defensive lineman Scott Vallone.
Mattes was a rookie free agent out of North Carolina State from the 2013 draft. He was signed, released and then re-signed against during the months of May and June. The offensive lineman started all four years for the Wolfpack and was a second team All-ACC member last season.
Vallone was a rookie free agent out of Rutgers University. The 6'3", 275-pound defensive lineman started all four years for the Scarlet Knights at defensive tackle. Last season, Vallone was named as a first team All-BIG EAST selection after finishing with 52 total tackles and three sacks last season.
Edds was signed as a free agent back in June and was a fourth-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins back in 2010. Edds spent his rookie season on injured reserve and was released at the start of the 2011 season. The Patriots claimed him off waivers before being released and signed to the practice squad. The Indianapolis Colts became Edds' third team and was signed off the Patriots practice squad where he appeared in nine games for the Colts. Edds was then put on injured reserve again in 2012 after injuring his knee.
All three players were long shots to make the roster. Mattes was never expected to start as the Patriots already have one of the best offensive lines in the league, coupled with the fact that there were other players with more experience backing up the starters. Vallone had a similar uphill battle as he was battling with Vince WIlfork, Tommy Kelly, and six other defensive tackles. Finally, Edds was battling hard for a backup role as he was fending off two of the team's draft choices in Jamie Collins and Steve Beauharnais.
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