Patriots release CB Shawn Springs

The Patriots announced that veteran cornerback Shawn Springs has been released today.

Springs, who inked a three-year deal last April, was one of the team’s bigger free-agent signings last offseason but he never fully emerged as the team hoped.

The selection of cornerback Devin McCourty in the first round of the draft in April might have had something to do with releasing Springs now. The Patriots have Leigh Bodden returning as one starter and Darius Butler, McCourty, Terrene Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite are top candidates to start opposite of Bodden.

A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the Patriots have not ruled out re-signing Springs but for now the two sides are going their own ways.

Springs represents another free-agent mistake by Patriots from last offseason, joining tight end Chris Baker and wide receiver Joey Galloway.