Patriots release ILB McKenzie

Inside linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, a 2009 third-round draft choice who has spent the first eight weeks of the season on the Patriots' practice squad, was released today.

McKenzie had previously passed on the opportunity to join another team's 53-man roster, but was interested in seeking other opportunities within the NFL.

This looks like a case in which the Patriots granted his wish.

McKenzie plays a position at which the Patriots have an abundance of youth and depth with Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher.

McKenzie, the 97th overall pick last year, got off to a tough start in New England when he tore his ACL in 2009 rookie mini camp. He missed his entire rookie season because of the injury. While he was expected to be part of the mix on 2010, rookies Brandon Spikes (second round) and Dane Fletcher (free agent) leaped him on the depth chart.