Patriots rookie center suddenly retires, undrafted rookie released

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Patriots seventh-round pick Dustin Woodard made the unexpected decision to retire on Thursday, as reported by the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. According to the report, Woodard's decision isn't related to COVID-19 and he "simply decided to walk away."

Woodard's decision comes on the heels of the Patriots re-signing former center Tyler Gauthier for a second stint with the team. Starter David Andrews is back after missing the entire 2019 season with blood clots in his lungs, but there is an open competition for the backup spot after the departure of Ted Karras.

In addition to Woodard's retirement, the Patriots released undrafted rookie defensive end Nick Coe, according to Jim McBride of the Boston Globe. Coe signed with the Patriots out of Auburn after the 2020 NFL Draft.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick acknowledged that the Patriots roster may continue to have moving parts as training camp continues.

"We’ve had a few roster moves since we last spoke," Belichick said during his Friday presser. "So, a couple players out, a couple players in, and we’re still below the limit here. There’s obviously going to be personnel movement here through the course of camp, but we’ll see how that goes moving forward. We’re anxious to start working with the players that we’ve brought in, so we’ll just have to see how that goes."

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