NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS BLOG  |  ESPN Boston

Could Banta-Cain be back soon?

October 19, 2009, 7:20 PM

By: Mike Reiss

The Patriots terminated the contract of outside linebacker/defensive end Tully Banta-Cain on Monday, but one wonders if it is just a temporary move.

As a seven-year veteran who was on the opening day roster, Banta-Cain is eligible for termination pay. Furthermore, there is no significant cost savings for the Patriots, as Banta-Cain was playing on a reasonable one-year, $620,000 contract that counted even less on the salary cap.

Because of those factors -- as well as Banta-Cain's generally solid production -- this move could simply be procedural.

With specifics of Banta-Cain's initial one-year contract not known, it's difficult to assess the team's thinking.

Overall, it's hard to imagine they cut him based on production. Banta-Cain was tied for the team lead with three sacks. He's played in all six games, with two starts, and has been a solid contributor on special teams as well.

Because of this, the feeling here is that we haven't seen the last of Banta-Cain. There has to be more to the story.

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