Patriots Begin Roster Purge By Releasing Two Key Veterans

Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Lawrence Guy (93) against
Dec 12, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Lawrence Guy (93) against / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With a new era underway in New England, we knew the Patriots were going to shake up their roster in a big way this offseason. Jerod Mayo is not Bill Belichick, and considering Bill's love of hoarding "his guys" on the roster, we knew a lot of goodbyes were coming.

Those goodbyes officially started on Monday with a couple of high-profile veterans.

The Patriots have reportedly released defensive lineman Lawrence Guy and safety Adrian Phillips.

Guy, a Super Bowl LII champion with the Patriots, just finished his 12th NFL season and seventh with the Patriots. Phillips had spent the last four seasons in New England after beginning his career with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers for six years. Guy and Phillips both celebrate March birthdays, they will turn 34 and 32 next month, respectively.

As Pelissero noted, Guy was twice nominated by the Patriots as their Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for his work with the Lawrence Guy Family Foundation, which provides "resources and opportunities for financially disadvantaged families".

Guy started 103 of his 110 games for New England, recording 379 tackles and 10.5 sacks. In 2023, he appeared in all 17 games, starting 12, and registered 38 tackles. He suited up for 46 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps last season.

Guy took to Twitter with a message of gratitude for his seven seasons in New England.

Phillips, a first-team All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection in 2018, signed a two-year contract with the Patriots in March 2020 before inking a three-year extension in Jan. 2022. He appeared in 68 games for New England, intercepting six passes and racking up 286 tackles from his safety position. He was on the field for a mere 12 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps in 2023, a drastic drop from 62 percent in 2022.

With the 2023 emergence of both Kyle Dugger and Jabrill Peppers at safety, and Christian Barmore on the defensive line, perhaps New England felt that their youth movement at those respective positions would allow them to move on from Guy and Phillips. Dugger is set to become a free agent, but is a strong candidate to be franchise tagged.

The NFL free agency negotiation period kicks off in less than a month, as talks can begin on March 11.

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