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Meriweather, Tate released by Patriots

Safety Brandon Meriweather and wide receiver day casualties when the Patriots made a flurry of man roster limit.

Meriweather, New England's first-round selection (24th overall) in the 2007 draft, has been named to the Pro Bowl in each of the past two seasons and came up with 12 interceptions over the past three years.

However, it was widely believed that head coach Bill Belichick wasn't satisfied with the 27-year-old's performance in 2010, and Meriweather didn't help himself by being present at a party in his Florida hometown this past winter in which two people were shot.

The Miami-Florida product had three picks and 68 tackles in 16 games (13 starts) last season.

With the Patriots also releasing veteran safety James Sanders earlier in the week, second-year pro Sergio Brown looms as the present favorite to start alongside Patrick Chung in the back end of the team's secondary.

Tate, a third-round pick of New England in 2009, took over as a starter after the Patriots traded Randy Moss to Minnesota last October and averaged 18 yards on 24 catches while scoring three touchdowns. However, the 23-year-old was deemed expendable due to the emergence of second-year wideout Taylor Price, taken by the Pats in the third round of last year's draft, during this preseason.

The injury-prone Tate's biggest impact came on special teams, where he ranked among the league leaders in kickoff return average (25.8 avg.) and scored two return touchdowns last season.

Veteran running back Sammy Morris was also let go Saturday.

Morris had spent the last four seasons of his 11-year career with New England and led the team with a career-best 727 rushing yards along with seven touchdowns in 2008.

In other moves, the Patriots released defensive lineman Landon Cohen, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, defensive end Eric Moore, wide receiver Tiquan Underwood, offensive lineman Thomas Austin, running back Eric Kettani, defensive back Ross Ventrone, linebacker Markell Carter, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias, defensive end Alex Silvestro, and tight ends Lee Smith and Will Yeatman.

In addition, defensive linemen Ron Brace and Brandon Deaderick and running back Kevin Faulk were placed on the reserve physically unable to perform list while offensive tackle Marcus Cannon was placed on the reserve non-football injury list.

Offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger was placed on injured reserve.

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