Patriots Decline Fifth-Year Options on Three Players
Malcom Brown headlines a list of three players whose fifth-year rookie options won't be picked up by the Patriots.
All three players were first-round draft picks in 2015, although only Brown was originally picked by New England. He's the only player currently on the roster who was drafted by the team in the first round over a five-year stretch between 2013 and 2017.
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Shelton, acquired via trade from the Cleveland Browns this off-season, was the No. 12 overall pick in 2015. He and Brown, the No. 32 overall pick, were the lone interior lineman selected in the first round that year.
Dorsett, the No. 29 overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts, came over in a trade prior to the start of the 2017 season in exchange for quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
It warrants mentioning that the Patriots did not use any of their nine draft picks last weekend on a defensive lineman.
Brown missed three games in the regular season last year for New England but still played in a career-high 61.9 percent of the team's defensive snaps. He registered 2.5 sacks and had 29 total tackles.
Shelton, who joined the team via the winless Browns, has 1.5 sacks total over the first three seasons of his career.
Dorsett caught only 12 passes from quarterback Tom Brady during his first season in Foxboro. While Brown and Shelton appear certain to remain on New England's roster for the 2018 season, Dorsett's roster spot may be in jeopardy due to a crowded stable of wide receivers. Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Jordan Matthews, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Britt, Cody Hollister, Riley McCarron and 2018 sixth-round draft choice Braxton Berrios are also on New England's depth chart at the position.