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Bill Belichick addresses Eric Decker, Kenny Britt being released, current state of WR position

Ryan Hannable
August 27, 2018 - 2:28 pm

FOXBORO -- Over the last week, the Patriots have let go of two veteran wide outs as Kenny Britt was released last week and then Eric Decker was released Monday after saying he would retire on Sunday. 

Speaking at Gillette Stadium Monday, Bill Belichick addressed Decker's situation.

"We talked to Eric. Eric felt like – and I don't want to speak for Eric – I think he certainly can handle that for himself. But he's had a great career," Belichick said. "I have a lot of respect for Eric going all the way back to when we talked to him coming out of Minnesota, and when Josh [McDaniels] drafted him, and to Tennessee, and the Jets and so forth. I enjoyed working with him. Again, I really have a lot of respect for him, what he did. I think he's decided to retire from football so we wish him well and appreciate what he did."

Britt's was somewhat related to a nagging hamstring injury that has been limiting him since minicamp in June. 

"I mean, that's unfortunately professional football," Belichick said of letting Britt go. "A lot of people are competing for not as many spots as there are players. We have to make decisions. Sometimes players make decisions, but somewhere along the line we have to make the majority of those decisions and do what we feel is best for the football team based on what the players have earned, what they've done this year. It's the hard part of the job. Yeah, one of the hard parts."

This leave the Patriots very thin at the wide receiver position, as with Julian Edelman suspended the first four games, the team really only has three locks to make the team in Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson. This leaves Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios, Devin Lucien and Paul Turner battling for the last spot, or the team could go with just three, or even bring in someone from outside the organization.

Really, everything remains in play. 

Belichick wouldn't comment directly when asked if he's comfortable with the current situation at wide receiver.

"Look, our entire team, we all have a lot of work to do," he said. "We all have a lot to prove at every position. None of us have done anything this year in the 2018 season. I think we're all in the same boat on that one – coaches, players, whatever position you want to look at. We all have a long way to go and we'll see where we get to."

The initial 53-man roster needs to be submitted by Saturday at 4 p.m.

Related: Patriots get good news at practice Monday