New England Patriots to release center Bryan Stork

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite his being listed as a starter, the New England Patriots will reportedly release center Bryan Stork.

The New England Patriots are always cold-blooded when it comes to releasing players, with little or no thought to status, name recognition, or tenure. Bryan Stork is listed as their starting center on an unofficial depth chart as of Wednesday morning, but Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has reported the Patriots will release the third-year man.

Stork started 11 regular season games as a rookie in 2014, and also started in the team’s Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks the following February. But a concussion limited him to just eight games (six starts) last season, and another reported concussion early in training camp this year set him back in a competition for the starting job. Since returning to practice on Aug. 8 as the apparent starter, Stork seemed to gain little ground on David Andrews.

Stork was kicked out of a joint practice with the Chicago Bears last week, after head-butting Bears’ linebacker John Timu and reportedly throwing punches at other opposing players. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a clear zero-tolerance policy for practice fights, as evidenced by his removal of cornerback Malcolm Butler from one of last week’s sessions with the Bears. That said, it’s hard to imagine cutting a starter based purely on one practice dust-up.

Related Story: Fantasy Football 2016 Preview: New England Patriots wide receivers

Stork’s recent history with concussions should be noted, but the Pats probably expected him to easily usurp Andrews and re-take the starting job at center. That didn’t appear to happen, and even with other injuries to interior offensive lineman New England found no further use for Stork.

Assuming he’s healthy, Stork should have no trouble finding a new team.