Cornerback Bradley Fletcher, who was signed as a free agent this offseason, was released Saturday afternoon. Safety/linebacker/special teamer Brandon King was promoted from the practice squad to replace Fletcher on the Patriots’ 53-man roster. Fletcher was listed as questionable to play Week 5 against the Dallas Cowboys after injuring his hamstring this week.
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Fletcher and fellow cornerbacks Robert McClain and Chimdi Chekwa signed with the Patriots as free agents in March. Chekwa was released two months later, and McClain was cut after training camp. The Patriots tried to fill out their cornerback depth by selecting Darryl Roberts in the seventh round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He was placed on season-ending injured reserve at the end of the summer. The Patriots also signed veteran free agent Derek Cox in June. He was released days into training camp in early August.
Brown, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Justin Coleman make up the Patriots’ current cornerback depth. Coleman was added from the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad prior to Week 1.
The Patriots also have cornerback Brandon Dixon on their practice squad. Dixon was selected in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He played 14 games for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.
King played safety and pass rusher for Auburn and went undrafted this offseason. At 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, he ran a 4.49-second 40-yard dash at his pro day with a 38-inch vertical leap, 10-foot, 6-inch broad jump, 7.28-second 3-cone and 4.47-second short shuttle. He practiced with the Patriots’ linebackers during training camp but was used as a special teamer during the preseason.