The Patriots continue to overhaul their defensive line, waiving two more defensive tackles today, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com. Yates reports (via Twitter) that New England has cut Ishmaa’ily Kitchen and Chris Jones from the roster. The team has since confirmed the two moves.
Kitchen, who spent the first three years of his NFL career with Cleveland, spent some time with the Lions and Pats in 2015, but didn’t play a real role for Bill Belichick‘s team. As for Jones, he missed the entire 2015 campaign, spending it on the PUP list, but was solid in his first two seasons in New England, recording nine total sacks in 28 games.
Because of his play during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Jones was in line for an increased salary of $1.671MM in 2016, having been a recipient of a proven performance escalator. While those pay bumps are meant to be rewards for young players who have outperformed their draft slot, the raise may have actually contributed to Jones’ release, since the Pats likely deemed the $1.671MM non-guaranteed salary too rich for a player coming off a lost year.
The Patriots have added Terrance Knighton and Markus Kuhn in free agency this offseason, but have seen many defensive tackles depart New England. In addition to Kitchen and Jones, the team also cut Dominique Easley this week, and had Akiem Hicks and Sealver Siliga sign elsewhere as free agents.
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