Patriots inform RB Clayton of release

The Patriots have informed running back Thomas Clayton that he will be released, a league source confirms.

The move, not unexpected, comes one day after second-round draft choice Shane Vereen -- a running back out of Cal -- signed a four-year contract with the club. This will create more repetitions for Vereen and fellow rookie Stevan Ridley (3rd round) in practice.

Clayton had an interesting history with the Patriots, joining the club as an unrestricted free agent June 11, 2010. He was released at the final roster cutdown, landed with the Browns' practice squad, but was re-signed to the Patriots' active roster on Sept. 30 when the club ran into some injury problems.

Clayton was released Oct. 23, landed in Cleveland again, and when the Browns waived him in early December, the Patriots claimed him.

Clayton played in one game last season, the finale against the Dolphins, and had six carries for 17 yards.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald first reported Clayton's release.