It may be June, but it felt like training camp from a Patriots news perspective Thursday. Here's a rundown of what you need to know from a busy Thursday:
Defensive end Markell Carter was informed of his release, a somewhat surprising end to the 2011 sixth-round pick's time in New England.
Hours later, Carter's release became official, while the team also signed veteran tight end Bo Scaife and waived undrafted rookie tight end Nick Melillo, who signed last week, as well as offensive lineman Jon Opperud.
Separate from Carter's release was news from ESPNBoston's Mike Reiss that free agent defensive end Andre Carter was at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday. While no move appears imminent, the 33-year old veteran has been working with the team's medical staff to rehab a season-ending quad injury.
The Patriots held their final organized team activity of the offseason, and the biggest news was that receiver Chad Ochocinco and tight end Aaron Hernandez were not present.
Seventh-round pick Jeremy Ebert returned to practice, after he was expected to miss all of OTAs until Northwestern graduated, due to league policy.
Undrafted rookie tight end Brad Herman was carted off the field during warmups of the practice with an apparent lower left leg injury. That left Scaife and second-year converted defensive end Alex Silvestro as the only tight ends in practice, and Scaife appeared to have conditioning issues late in practice.
After practice, reports surfaced that Ochocinco had been at the facility on Thursday morning and later left. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter later reported that he had left for an eye doctor appointment.
Soon after, however, Schefter reported that the Patriots had spent all day trying to trade Ochocinco, and without a partner for a deal, decided to release him. The move was officially announced by the team later Thursday evening.