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New England Patriots release veteran Bobby Carpenter

Hours after the New England Patriots traded for Greg Salas from the St. Louis Rams, the Pats made room for their new wide receiver by cutting linebacker Bobby Carpenter, the team announced Saturday.

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Former New England  Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was just one of Friday's many releases. Who else was cut? More ...

Carpenter's stay in New England is over almost before it began. It's a surprising move by the Patriots considering Carpenter had performed well in camp after being signed as a free agent in April.

It leaves the Patriots thin at linebacker, where Carpenter was penciled in on the strongside behind rookie Dont'a Hightower. Now, Mike Rivera and Tracy White figure as the main reserves behind starters Brandon Spikes and Jerod Mayo (meaning transaction-happy Bill Belichick is sure to make another move here soon).

Following four disappointing seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Carpenter split time last season with the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins. Carpenter has failed to live up to his first-round draft status, but Belichick has spun gold out of project players before and appeared to be at it again.

This might be more about the Patriots trending younger on defense. New England has rapidly shed age on this side of the ball, and Carpenter obviously wasn't a fit.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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