New England Patriots Surprisingly Release Former All-Pro

New England Patriots helmet

Getty Image / Winslow Townson

The New England Patriots entered this offseason with the expectation that they would be making some big changes this offseason.

Most of those changes were expected to be on the offensive side of the ball after the debacle that was there season without an offensive coordinator.

While they’ve started to make those change with Bill O’Brien giving them an actual OC for next season, it turns out they also have some changes coming for Bill Belichick’s favorite unit.

The Patriots’ special teams is regularly a strength for the team, but it looks like they are ready to move on from one player who was recently one of the unit’s most impressive members.

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have decided to release punter Jake Bailey.

2022 was a rough year for Bailey. He was averaging a career-low in yards per punt through the first 9 games of the season before he was injured. He missed the rest of the season with the injury and was suspended for unspecified reasons while he was out.

Despite the suspension, the Patriots had indicated that he was still a part of their future plans. It appears that wasn’t actually the case.

Just last year it looked like Bailey was on his way to a lengthy career with the Pats.

He earned a spot in the Pro Bowl and not he NFL’s All-Pro team as a rookie in 2020. A year later, the team signed him to a 4-year, $13.5 million contract extension.

Now he finds himself looking for a new team just a year after signing that extension.

Despite the disappointing 2022 season, he should be able to find teams prepared to give him a tryout to improve their special teams ahead of the 2023 season.