The Patriots have parted ways with linebacker Shea McClellin, releasing him with a failed physical designation, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter). McLellin was unable to suit up last year after beginning the season on injured reserve and suffering a concussion at practice during his comeback attempt.
McClellin, 28, was taken in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Bears in 2012. He was set to enter the second season of a three-year, $9MM deal ($3.5MM guaranteed) signed with the Patriots in 2015. In his lone season with the Patriots in 2016, he appeared in 14 games — starting four — and recorded just one sack. He was graded by Pro Football Focus as the No. 72 edge rusher in the NFL out of 108 qualified players.
In four seasons with the Bears, McClellin appeared in 52 games and made 31 starts. His finest season came in 2014 when he recorded a career-best four sacks and matched his career high by appearing in 14 games.
McClellin would have likely worked as a rotational player behind Patriot starters Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy. Injuries limited Hightower to just five games last season. New England also has Elandon Roberts, Nic Grigsby and Harvey Langi rostered at linebacker, with James Harrison and Marquis Flowers unrestricted free agents this offseason.
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