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                       === Patriots cut KR Washington ===
 
 Foxboro,  MA (Sports Network) - The New England Patriots surprisingly released
 two-time  Pro  Bowl return  man Leon  Washington following  a series of waiver
 claims on Sunday.
 
 Washington  was named to  the NFC squad for last year's Pro Bowl after leading
 the  conference with  an average of 29.0  yards per kick return as a member of
 Seattle.  The veteran  running  back was  released by  the  Seahawks in  March
 following  that team's acquisition of wide receiver Percy Harvin, however, and
 signed with the Patriots just a few days later.
 
 The  30-year-old  was deemed  expendable, though,  as New  England still has a
 proven  punt returner  on the  roster in  wideout Julian  Edelman and  several
 possible  options --  including  defensive back  Devin  McCourty, rookie  wide
 receiver Josh Boyce and running back LeGarette Blount -- to take back kicks.
 
 Cornerback  Marquice Cole, a key special teamer who recorded 17 tackles and an
 interception for the Pats last season, was also released after the team picked
 up  linebacker  Chris White, offensive  linemen Braxston Cave and Chris Barker
 and defensive tackle A.J. Francis off waivers. All but White are rookies.
 
 White  spent two  seasons  with Buffalo  before being  traded  to Detroit  for
 quarterback  Thaddeus Lewis  on  Aug.  25. The  former  fourth-round pick  was
 released by the Lions during Saturday's final cuts.
 
 Barker  and Francis  were both in Miami's camp as undrafted free agents, while
 Cave spent the preseason with the Cleveland Browns.
 
 
 
 
 09/01 21:11:24 ET