A source told ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss at the time of Underwood's release that it was purely a football decision based on the Patriots' needs for their matchup with the New York Giants and was not disciplinary in nature, which would seem to be confirmed by the signing. After releasing Underwood, the Patriots promoted defensive lineman Alex Silvestro off their practice squad. Silvestro was active for the Super Bowl but did not play any defensive snaps.
In a text message to ESPN's Ed Werder prior to the game, Underwood said in part, "The New England Patriots are a GREAT Organization. I wish them nothing but the best today."
A third-year receiver, Underwood played in eight games for the team: six in the regular season, two in the playoffs. He totaled 97 snaps (including penalties) and his role varied, as either the team's third, fourth or fifth receiver. He finished the season with three catches for 30 yards.
The Patriots also announced the signing of defensive back Ross Ventrone, who was involved in 21 transactions with the team from mid-August to the end of the season, being waived and re-signed to the practice squad on virtually a weekly basis. Ventrone played in eight regular-season games this season.
Also signed by the Patriots to future contracts were linebacker Markell Carter, wide receiver Britt Davis, offensive lineman Matt Kopa, defensive end Aaron Lavarias and linebacker Mike Rivera, all of whom spent time on the Patriots practice squad in 2011.