The Patriots are releasing wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, their 2016 fourth-round pick, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. The news comes days after the team placed Jordan Matthews on injured reserve and signed veteran Eric Decker to replace him.
In the days leading up to training camp, the Patriots were reportedly trying to trade Mitchell, though nothing materialized. And now, two weeks later, the team will move on, leaving behind a still-crowded depth chart at the position.
The Providence Journal's Mark Daniels reports that wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell had a procedure done on his knee. He followed up by saying it would be an "uphill climb" for him to play in 2018.
UPDATE: Ian Rapoport reported that Mitchell's procedure was not a surgery, but rather to "promote healing" in his troubling knee. This is still not great for his 2018 prospects, but a clarification on what happened was necessary.
Mitchell's health has been a constant problem since entering the league, and it explains why rumors of the Patriots attempting to trade him leaked earlier today. Mitchell being out of the picture clears the way for players like Jordan Matthews and Kenny Britt to seize starting roles during Julian Edelman's suspension to start the year.
Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell, who missed all of 2017 with a knee injury, has not been seen practicing for the last two weeks.
This is particularly notable given the four-game suspension recently doled out to Julian Edelman. Mitchell is a player who has dealt with knee injuries dating back to Georgia, where he suffered an ACL tear, and another knee injury requiring arthroscopic surgery. Mitchell also missed two games in 2016 due to a knee strain. The path to relevance appears to be opening even wider for the likes of Jordan Matthews and Kenny Britt.
The story said Dorsett didn't speak after the game so for now we have no timetable for the injury. The story also mentioned that Cooks is the team's only top, healthy WR right now as Hogan was also dealing with an injury after the game.