Photo: Boston.com

Yes, if you haven’t figured out yet this blog site will likely have some Patriots bias (sorry I can’t help it). The news earlier today that James Sanders was released was the quite the shocker to me.

I expected Sanders to play a decent role in the base defense this year with Pat Chung being the only sure thing at the safety position. Brandon Merriweather has appeared to be in Coach Belichick’s doghouse for quite some time now despite being named to the Pro-Bowl two consecutive seasons, and the team is relatively thin at the position. Sergio Brown has taken his share of snaps with the base defense and from what I have observed hasn’t looked too bad but he remains unproven. The team recently cut Bret Lockett who is known more for lying about being in a relationship with Kim Kardashian, and there doesn’t appear to be many other options on the roster.

I have learned over the years to never question Belichick and I am sure he knows what he is doing and has a plan. Perhaps 2nd round pick Ras-I Dowling could see some time at safety with the corner position seemingly locked up. I don’t see Dowling passing Kyle Arrington on the depth chart for the nickel position anytime soon, especially with the shortened offseason and late arrival to camp for Dowling. Belichick does appear to be high on Dowling though, and I am sure he will find a way to get him on the field. The Patriots did work out Darren Sharper this offseason, but that appeared to be nothing more than due diligence in case of emergency. Time will tell how this pans out.

As a Patriots fan, I am sad to see Sanders go. He was known as a good locker room guy and one of the leaders of this young defense. Sanders had the longest tenure with the Patriots of anyone else in the secondary after being selected in the 4th round of the 2005 draft and always showed up to work. Not necessarily knowm for his big play ability, I will always remember Sanders for his game saving interception of Peyton Manning last year with Indy seemingly ready to tie or take the lead late in the 4th quarter of their regular season matchup.

I am sure Sanders will find work soon. It is already rumored that the Atlanta Falcons are showing interest. Best of luck.

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