The decision to release Bodden comes as a surprise considering he was one of the Patriots' biggest free-agent signings in 2009. He had played a large role on the Patriot's defense this season as the team's nickel cornerback. Bodden played in five games this season, starting one. He recorded 17 tackles and four passes defensed.
Bodden, 30, was in the third year of a four-year, $22 million deal. He had five interceptions in his first season with the Patriots but missed all of 2010 with a shoulder injury.
"I would like to first confirm that Leigh Bodden has been released by the New England Patriots," Keels said. "He's enjoyed this time in New England, but after meeting with coach (Bill) Belichick this morning both parties agreed it was time to move on. Leigh still has a strong desire to play football and welcomes his next opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl. Leigh is totally healthy and can contribute right away."
The Herald also reported that the decision for Bodden to leave was mutual between the player and the team.
Belichick said the team did not have an announcement to make when asked about Bodden's release during his Friday press conference. When asked to comment on Bodden's play, Belichick said, "I think we'll skip that one right now."