Though Dominique Easley reportedly wanted out of New England as badly as the Patriots wanted him out, the third-year defensive lineman took to Instagram on Wednesday to thank coach Bill Belichick one day after Belichick released him.
Easley, the No. 29 overall pick in 2014 who landed on season-ending injured reserve during each of his first two professional seasons, hit waivers on Wednesday. Whether or not he has been claimed by another club remains to be seen.
Easley's outgoing message for the organization is an interesting one given some of the reporting that emerged soon after his release.
He wasn't always "on the program" with the Patriots, according to Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran. Curran also explained that Easley would disappear for long periods of time after being injured, choosing to rehab his injuries outside of the team's facilities.
Comcast SportsNet's Mike Giardi heard from one of Easley's former teammates recently, who said, "Easley never fit. Never tried to fit."
The Boston Globe's Ben Volin also heard from one of Easley's teammates who said, "Saw that coming. Injuries and locker room cancer."
In Easley's Instagram post, he wrote, "no matter what everyone says I'm glad I was a part of the patriot nation." But according to Volin, Easley told people privately that he wanted to be traded during his rookie year.
The Patriots salary cap took an additional hit by releasing Easley. If he's claimed on waivers Thursday, part of that hit will be alleviated.
Here's a look at how the Patriots defense may adjust with Easley no longer in the picture for the 2016 season, and a peek at some of the top defensive tackle prospects in this year's draft.