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Patriots Release Cornerback Leigh Bodden

Leigh Bodden (Image from BostonHerald.com)

The Patriots have cut ties with cornerback Leigh Bodden.

“He’s enjoyed this time in New England, but after meeting with coach Belichick this morning, both parties agreed it was time to move on,” Bodden’s agent Alvin Keels told ESPNBoston.com. “Leigh still has a strong desire to play football and welcomes his next opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl. Leigh is totally healthy and can contribute right away.”

Bodden played in five games as the team’s nickel cornerback this season, finishing with 17 tackles and 4 passes defended. He was part of a secondary that has allowed an NFL-worst 322.2 passing yards per game in 2011.

Bodden has been battling a thumb injury as was listed as “limited” this week in practice.

The 30-year-old Bodden joined the Pats in 2009, and finished with five interceptions. He was rewarded with a four-year contract, but has done little for the team since then. He missed the entire 2010 season with a shoulder injury and had a lackluster third season this year in New England.

The Pats will now turn to Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington (who’s 2nd in the NFL with 4 INTs) to lead a young group of corners. Rookie CB Ras-I Dowling is battling a hip injury, but the team has other players to fill in, including Antwaun Molden and Phillip Adams.

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