Photo Credit: Jim Davis, Boston Globe
The Patriots cut offensive lineman Nick McDonald and receivers Lavelle Hawkins and Perez Ashford Wednesday.
According to a report from Masslive.com’s Nick Underhill, McDonald’s release comes on the heels of a failed physical. The 26-year-old interior lineman out of Grand Valley State joined the Pats in 2011 and was highly regarded for his versatility. In 2012, McDonald appeared in 12 games for the Pats, including one start, splitting his time between right and left guard. In 2011 he logged two starts at center and also gave the team a serviceable option as an emergency backup tackle.
McDonald, whose younger brother Chris was signed by the Patriots as an undrafted free agent lineman, injured himself during offseason workouts and hadn’t returned to the field after starting camp on the physically unable to perform list. It’s quite possible he will be re-signed once he is healthy enough to practice.
After signing a two-year deal worth just shy of $2 million, the 27-year-old Hawkins failed to impress in his short time in New England. The move is an indication that the Patriots are impressed with the upside displayed by their rookie receivers, and makes room for them to get more reps as they learn New England’s offense.
To that end, the release of Ashford comes as no real surprise either. The 22-year-old receiver was a long shot to make the team from the start. He was picked up by the Browns in April as an undrafted rookie free agent and cut in late May. Ashford played in 48 games during his four collegiate seasons at Northern Illinois and finished with 110 receptions for 1, 192 yards.