The team released safety Steve Gregory on Friday, according to his agent David Canter.
Patriots will be releasing starting #TeamDEC client Safety Steve Gregory today.— David Canter (@davidcanter) February 28, 2014
The move was first reported by Field Yates of ESPN, and was later confirmed in a press release from the team.
Gregory, 31, started 23 games for the Patriots over the past two years, but with a tight budget against the salary cap, the Patriots had to make some moves. Releasing Gregory gives the Patriots roughly $2.85 million more in cap space, according to Spotrac.
Gregory's football intelligence will be missed; he was considered one of the smartest players on the team by his teammates, who lauded his film study and veteran experience as his sharpest mental weapons in helping him recognize plays and get himself — and his teammates — in position to make a play.
The move paves the way for a competition between second-year safety Duron Harmon< and third-year safety Tavon Wilson, to earn the starting spot at strong safety. Wilson started four games in 2012 when Gregory was injured, and Harmon filled in for three games when Gregory was out with a thumb injury during the 2013 season.
The Patriots could also be considered a possible landing spot for a strong safety in the draft or free agency, if they want to have an insurance policy on the two young safeties.
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