Tyler Gaffney Released by New England Patriots

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2017

CHARLOTTE, NC - AUGUST 26:  Tyler Gaffney #36 of the New England Patriots runs the ball against the Carolina Panthers in the 2nd quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on August 26, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

On Monday, the New England Patriots announced they released running back Tyler Gaffney, noting he spent most of the 2016 campaign on the team's practice squad.

Gaffney entered the league when the Carolina Panthers selected him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft after he ran for 1,709 yards and 21 touchdowns in his final season at Stanford.

Despite those totals, he never caught on at the NFL level, and Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk wrote the Patriots felt he was "expendable" after they added Rex Burkhead for running back depth.

New England's press release chronicled Gaffney's journey within the organization. The Patriots claimed him off waivers after he suffered an injury in training camp with the Panthers, but he spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons on injured reserve.

The Patriots released him in September but added him to the practice squad and eventually the 53-man roster in October. However, he was inactive for a game against the Buffalo Bills and never saw the field in a regular-season contest. They then released him on Nov. 10 before adding him to the practice squad again on Nov. 12.

Gaffney is still just 25 years old and does have the impressive college stats to fall back on as he looks for his next job in football. He was also solid in a 2016 preseason game against the New Orleans Saints with 64 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.