FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots released running back-kick returner Leon Washington on Sunday.
Washington, tied with Josh Cribbs for the NFL record with eight career kickoff returns for touchdowns, was signed as a free agent in March after three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. He spent his other four seasons with the New York Jets.
During the exhibition season, Washington returned 10 punts and three kickoffs. His departure leaves Julian Edelman as the primary punt returner and rookie Josh Boyce as the main kickoff returner.
In seven seasons, Washington, 31, averaged 25.9 yards on 244 kickoff returns and 9.9 yards on 168 punt returns. He’s also rushed 473 times for a 4.7-yard average.
The Patriots also cut cornerback Marquice Cole and signed four players off waivers — linebacker Chris White from Detroit, offensive lineman Braxston Cave from Cleveland and guard Chris Barker and defensive tackle A.J. Francis from Miami.
New England also signed five players to the practice squad — linebackers Ja’Gared Davis and Jeff Tarpinian, defensive backs Kanorris Davis and Justin Green and defensive lineman Marcus Forston. All had been released Saturday.