Patriots release rookie RB Paschall

The Patriots announced the release of rookie running back Pat Paschall, who had signed with the team as a free agent after going undrafted.

Paschall, who played at North Dakota State, was the nation's leading rusher in FCS (formerly Division I-AA) last season. He received an $8,500 signing bonus as part of his two-year contract with the Patriots.

Paschall had taken a pre-draft visit to the Patriots, which was an indication of the team's interest in him in the scouting process. So his release is a mild surprise at this point and leaves the following players on the running back depth chart:

Laurence Maroney

Kevin Faulk

Sammy Morris

Fred Taylor

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

Chris Taylor

Thomas Clayton

With Maroney, Faulk, Morris and Taylor all entering the final year of their contract, one line of thinking was that a player like Paschall could sneak on to the roster as a running back to groom for the future. But the Patriots obviously saw something in spring camps that indicated that wasn't likely to happen.