FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots have informed veteran defensive tackle Mike Pennel, one of their top free-agent signings in the offseason, that he is being released Monday, according to a league source.

Pennel had signed a two-year deal with with a base value of $5 million in March, which reflects how the team projected he would be a part of their roster. The deal included a $500,000 signing bonus and $100,000 workout bonus.

The 6-foot-4, 330-pound Pennel is a strong run-stuffer who played every in game for the New York Jets from 2017-18. He appeared in 37 games with the Green Bay Packers from 2014-16, with five starts.

targeted Pennel after one of their starting defensive tackles last season, Malcom Brown, landed a free-agent deal with the New Orleans Saints. Pennel projected as a starter next to veteran Lawrence Guy on early downs, but when he was playing deep into ’ Week 3 preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, it was an ominous sign that his spot on the roster wasn’t a lock.

A strong preseason from Danny Shelton, the 2015 first-round pick of the Cleveland Browns now in his second season with , pushed the 28-year-old Pennel down the depth chart. Also, 2019 fifth-round pick Byron Cowart (Maryland) and third-year player Adam Butler have had flashes in the preseason.

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