New England Patriots  


Patriots opt to release Walter, go with two QBs for now

  • By Associated Press
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Undrafted rookie quarterback Brian Hoyer is Tom Brady's only backup, at least for now.

The New England Patriots trimmed their quarterback depth chart to two by releasing four-year veteran Andrew Walter on Friday.

Andrew Walter , QB

Games/Starts: 15/9
Passing Yards: 1,919
Touchdowns: 3
Interceptions: 16

Walter, signed by the Patriots on Aug. 3 four days after he was waived by the Oakland Raiders, appeared to have made the team as Brady's backup when New England let Kevin O'Connell go earlier in the week. But the Patriots elected to cut Walter free.

"I think Andrew had a lot of positives, and we talked about those when we signed him, and I think they still exist," New England coach Bill Belichick said in a conference call with the media Friday afternoon. "In the end, we still made decisions that are in the best interest of the football team."

Hoyer, a free agent from Michigan State, played the entire game in the Patriots' 38-27 comeback victory over the New York Giants on Thursday night.

Seen as a long shot early in camp, Hoyer capitalized on his last chance in the preseason finale, leading the Patriots from a 21-point, first-quarter deficit by completing 18 of 25 passes for 242 yards with no interceptions, although most of that was against backups.

"Not bad," Belichick said after the game. "He handled the ball fairly well, threw it accurately."

Hoyer threw for one touchdown and led drives that ended with BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushing for three scores.

When asked if the team will go with just two quarterbacks for the Sept. 14 season opener against the Buffalo Bills, Belichick didn't rule out the idea, but he also said the Patriots would look at who else might be released around the NFL.

"That's really a hard question to answer," he said. "We'll have to wait and see what our options are, not only what players are available, but also in terms of how we want to manage our roster. There's so many moving parts to the process, with difficult positions and the overall makeup of the team and looking at the active 45-man roster, then the different players that might or not be available throughout the league."

Teams are required to have their rosters trimmed to 53 by Saturday.

The Patriots also cut seventh-year linebacker Vinny Ciurciu, sixth-year guard Billy Yates, first-year receiver Robert Ortiz, third-year safety Roderick Rogers and second-year defensive lineman Stephen Williams on Friday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press


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