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Patriots release WR Brandon LaFell, TE Scott Chandler

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots have parted ways with two of their more notable veteran free-agent signings from the past two seasons, informing wide receiver Brandon LaFell and tight end Scott Chandler that they have been released.

Neither move comes as a surprise after both had their roles scaled back over the course of the 2015 season, with LaFell slipping to the No. 4 spot on the depth chart in the AFC Championship Game (zero targets) and Chandler spending much of the year as the No. 3 tight end.

The Patriots save about $4 million on the salary cap.

LaFell had a career year with the Patriots in 2014, his first season with the club, totaling 74 receptions for 953 yards and seven touchdowns. He started 13 of 16 games during the regular season and then all three playoff contests, adding 13 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs.

An injury to his left foot, however, affected his offseason, and he opened 2015 on the physically unable to perform list. LaFell, 29, never seemed to find his groove upon his return, finishing this past season with 37 catches for 515 yards and no touchdowns. He played in 11 games, with seven starts.

LaFell (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) was set to enter the final year of the three-year, $9 million contract he had signed with New England on March 17, 2014. He had entered the league as a third-round draft choice of the Carolina Panthers in 2010.

He took to Instagram to thank the organization.

Meanwhile, Chandler had signed a two-year, $5.3 million contract with the Patriots on March 16, 2015 after spending the prior five seasons with the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots had visions of pairing Chandler (6-7, 260) with Rob Gronkowski (6-6, 265) in a two-tight-end set, practicing it extensively in spring practices and training camp, but it never came to fruition during the regular season.

Chandler was slowed by a knee injury and his release came with a failed physical designation.

Chandler, 30, finished the year with 23 catches for 259 yards and four touchdowns, slipping to the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind Michael Williams.