On the flip side of the influx of new players, the Patriots made two roster moves on Monday. This included parting ways with safety Obi Melifonwu and linebacker Keionta Davis, as the Patriots revealed on their official website.
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Patriots Release Obi Melifonwu
The 26-year-old safety has been in the NFL for three seasons but has only played in seven games throughout his career. He spent his rookie campaign with the Oakland Raiders after getting drafted in the second round out of the University of Connecticut.
He spent last season with the Patriots, but only appeared in two games in 2019. Considering how high he was drafted, Melifonwu is dangerously close to being considered a bust.
The signing of players like Adrian Phillips and drafting of promising rookie Kyle Dugger is what has likely made Melifonwu expendable.
Patriots Release Keionta Davis
The Patriots made another snip to their roster on the defensive side of the ball. Despite starting three games for the team in 2018, defensive lineman Keionta Davis was released on Monday as well. Davis missed all of the 2019 season after being placed on injured reserve for undisclosed reasons.
Davis didn’t record a sack in 2018, but in six games, he six tackles and two quarterback hits. The 26-year-old had some promise, but it remains to be seen where his football journey will take him after being jettisoned by the Patriots.
Patriots Strong Safety Depth
For now, Patrick Chung is the starter, though he could be a candidate for release. Terrence Davis is the backup and the newly signed Cody Davis, who is likely going to play on special teams exclusively–barring injury–will now be the third-stringer.
No. 37 pick Kyle Dugger may have the ability to play either safety position.
Patriots Defensive Line Depth
At left defensive end, which was the position Davis played most often, the Patriots have Lawrence Guy currently as the starter. The eight-year veteran is not a star, but he has seemingly found a home with the Patriots. Guy has appeared in every game for the team over the past three seasons.
Guy’s durability has been exemplary as he hasn’t missed a game in five years. Behind Guy is Dietrich Wise Jr. and now Nick Thurman who should move up with the departure of Davis.
On the other side, John Simon is likely the starter again in 2020. He has spent the last two seasons with the Patriots and he appeared in all 16 games starting 12 of them. He might give way to second-year-pro Chase Winovich who showed some flashes of brilliance in 2019. Derek Rivers is third at the position.
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