Reading between lines on Meriweather

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the most prevalent questions surrounding the Patriots over the last 48 hours is why the team released two-time Pro Bowl safety Brandon Meriweather. One can read between the lines of Bill Belichick's response this morning, and draw the conclusion that the team viewed Meriweather as a player who wasn't what he once was in their system.

"Each year is a new year," Belichick said, when asked how he viewed Meriweather's time in New England. "I just don't think you can pick teams, pick your players, based on what's happened in the past. You have to pick them based on what you think is going to happen this year. That's relative to the competition, the makeup of your team, and the player's performance. All those are obviously a part of it.

"Brandon played a lot of good football for us. We kept the players this year that we felt would be the best makeup for the 2011 team. It's not the 2009 team. It's the 2011 team. That's the players we selected."