Montee Ball Released by Patriots: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 9, 2016

Denver Broncos running back Montee Ball (28) during drills at the team's NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Englewood, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Following Montee Ball's multiple misdemeanor domestic violence charges, the New England Patriots released the running back on Tuesday.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio initially reported that the Patriots parted ways with the troubled ball-carrier. Christopher Price of WEEI confirmed the transaction.     

Ball was arrested Feb. 5 after an alleged dispute with his girlfriend in a downtown Madison, Wisconsin, hotel. The Associated Press reported prosecutors charged Ball with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and that the 25-year-old is also facing a misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly striking the same woman five days prior.

A former second-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos in 2013, Ball was waived by the team prior to the 2015 campaign and was signed to New England's practice squad in December.  

Doug Kyed of NESN.com referred to the confusion surrounding Ball's status in New England:

ESPN.com's Mike Reiss explained Ball's paperwork for a futures contract was filed Feb. 1, but according to Kyed, it never made it through the NFL Communications transaction wire.

In any event, Ball's apparent re-signing with the Patriots was short-lived.

After producing reasonably well as a rookie in Denver with 559 yards rushing (4.7 yards per catch) and four touchdowns, Ball was in line for a sure starting role as the workhorse of the Broncos backfield.

But a nagging groin injury limited Ball to only five games in 2014, allowing the likes of Ronnie Hillman and especially C.J. Anderson to step up and take over for Denver's rushing attack. Anderson wound up being named to the Pro Bowl.

Even as the Patriots lost Dion Lewis and LeGarrette Blount to season-ending injuries in 2015, it wasn't until late in the year the team brought Ball aboard. New England still opted for aging veteran Steven Jackson (32) over Ball, along with James White and Brandon Bolden.

At this juncture, it appears as though Ball is a big draft bust. Given his off-field issues and inability to earn an active roster spot this past year, he could find himself out of football in 2016.

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