The move, which was first reported by ProFootballTalk.com, was confirmed by Bodden's agent.
"He's enjoyed this time in New England, but after meeting with coach Belichick this morning, both parties agreed it was time to move on," Alvin Keels said. "Leigh still has a strong desire to play football and welcomes his next opportunity to compete for a Super Bowl. Leigh is totally healthy and can contribute right away."
Asked about the report at his Friday morning news conference, coach Bill Belichick said the team did not have an announcement at that time. Later asked about Bodden's play this season, Belichick said "I think we'll skip that one right now."
Bodden had been battling a thumb injury this season, and was listed as limited in practice this week with the injury.
Since Bodden's release comes after the trade deadline, he will have to pass through waivers before becoming a free agent. Unless Bodden is claimed by another team, he will be eligible to collect termination pay from the Patriots equal to the remaining prorated portion of his $3.9 million base salary.
The move comes one day after rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hip) did not practice for the first time this week. Without Bodden, the Patriots have Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Dowling, Antwaun Molden, and Phillip Adams on their roster at cornerback.
Following a five-interception season in 2009, the Patriots re-signed Bodden to a four-year contract in March 2010. He missed all of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury.
In 2011, Bodden returned to play in five games as the Patriots' third cornerback. Making one start, Bodden had recorded 17 tackles, four passes defensed, and no interceptions.