The Patriots breakup with third-year running back Tyler Gaffney didn't last long.
Gaffney was released on Monday after two seasons spent on injured reserve, but the Patriots announced on Thursday that they re-signed him. The move to waive Gaffney earlier in the week appears to have been an accounting-based decision to get Gaffney on a new contract.
Under his rookie deal, Gaffney was scheduled to make $600,000 in 2016 and $690,000 in 2017.
The former Stanford ball-carrier spent each of the last two seasons on injured reserve after suffering season-ending injuries before the start of the 2014 and 2015 regular seasons. Though Gaffney was a regular around the Patriots facilities as he recovered, his physical ailments never allowed him to show his his capabilities on the field.
Gaffney was chosen by the Panthers in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, and he later made headlines with the way in which he ended up with the Patriots.
After enduring a season-ending knee injury while with Carolina, the Panthers front office opted to waive Gaffney to open up a spot on their 90-man training camp roster. Because he was injured, the assumption was he would clear waivers and be eligible to land on the Panthers injured reserve list.
Instead, the Patriots claimed Gaffney. The hope was that by 2015 he may be able to compete for a role in the Patriots backfield.
"Tyler had a real good year last year," Belichick said at the time. "Went to Stanford and then was in baseball for a year and had a big year last year. I think he’s a good all-around back that we want to work with. He was available, so we’ll see how it plays out here."