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Patriots release Leonard Johnson

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 03: Greg Jennings #85 of the Miami Dolphins catches the ball past Leonard Johnson #34 of the New England Patriots during the second quarter of the game at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

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The Patriots picked up defensive back Leonard Johnson late in the regular season, but he won’t be sticking around through the start of the new league year.

The Patriots announced Wednesday that they have released Johnson.

Johnson signed with the team on December 9, about a week after he’d been released from injured reserve by the Buccaneers. He played in four regular season games and had 11 tackles and three passes defensed. He was active for both of the team’s playoff games, but did not see any action.

Johnson was placed on injured reserve by the Bucs in early September after suffering an ankle injury in the preseason. He played in all 48 games for Tampa Bay from 2012 to 2014, making 17 starts and intercepting five passes. He turned two of those interceptions into touchdowns and his experience with both teams should put him in position to compete for a role on someone’s roster in 2016.