Sports Illustrated's Peter King joined Mut & Merloni Friday at noon for his weekly appearance. King gave his thoughts on the Patriots reportedly cutting cornerback Leigh Bodden in a surprise move.

"I think its extremely surprising and I have no clue why it happened," King said. "My gut reaction was it has to go down as one of the worst free agent signings the Patriots have ever had, because they signed him obviously after that good year in '09. Then obviously he gets hurt and misses last year, in essence. And this year, never really plays well."

FOXBORO --  Cornerback Ras-I Dowling and linebacker Dane Fletcher were the only players not at Patriots practice on Friday inside Gillette Stadium. Leigh Bodden was not on hand after reportedly being released earlier in the day. Bodden still had his name on his locker stall inside the Patriots locker room prior to practice on Friday morning. 

Only minutes after reports surfaced that the Patriots released cornerback Leigh Bodden, safety Patrick Chung joined the Mut & Merloni show for his weekly interview.

Chung deflected multiple questions about Bodden's release.

"It's not my decision," he said. "It's not my place to talk about that stuff. Whoever's here, we're going to play with whoever's here. … He's a good player, good person. That's all I can say on that. You can ask coach [Bill Belichick] about all those questions."

FOXBORO -- According to a ProFootballTalk.com report, the Patriots have released cornerback Leigh Bodden.

At his Friday morning press conference, coach Bill Belichick said, "We don't have any announcements to make right now," but when asked to comment on Bodden's play, he said: "We'll skip that right now."

The 30-year-old Bodden has played eight seasons in the NFL, including two with the Patriots. He had 17 tackles and four passes defended in five games (one start) this season.

FOXBORO -- As far as Vince Wilfork is concerned, he just wants to play.



FOXBORO -- Ras-I Dowling joined linebacker Dane Fletcher on the list of players missing Patriots practice Thursday inside the Dana-Farber Field House. Fletcher missed practice for a third straight day, out with a thumb injury, while Dowling, who was limited in Wednesday's full-pads practice, missed with a hip injury. The Pats had six other players who were limited, including running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (back).

FOXBORO -- Patriots rookie cornerback Ras-I Dowling was not spotted at the start of practice inside the Dana Farber Field House on Thursday as the team continued its preparation for the Steelers on Sunday in Pittsburgh. Dowling has not played since Week 2 against San Diego and has been inactive in three of the last four games with a hip injury. 

Dowling returned to practice on Tuesday and worked out in full pads on Wednesday before missing Thursday. Also missing for the third straight day was linebacker Dane Fletcher, who has been nursing a thumb injury. 

FOXBORO -- There are several reasons why the Patriots and Steelers have maintained an extended level of excellence over the years, but a sizable portion of their success can be traced back to the stable quarterback/coach relationship on each team.



FOXBORO -- Only linebacker Dane Fletcher missed practice on Wednesday, sitting out with what the Patriots listed as a thumb injury. In addition, New England had seven players who were limited, including running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (back). Here's the complete report:

Did Not Practice
LB Dane Fletcher (thumb)

Limited Participation
S Josh Barrett (thumb)
CB Leigh Bodden (thumb)
CB Ras-I Dowling (hip)
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe)

FOXBORO -- For the second straight day, linebacker Dane Fletcher was the only player not spotted at Patriots practice as the team practice in full pads in preparation for the Steelers this Sunday at Heinz Field. 

Fletcher was limited in practice and games before the bye week with thumb and hamstring ailments. Offensive lineman Marcus Cannon particpated in a full padded practice for the first time after working out with the team in shirts and shells on Tuesday. Cannon, a rookie out of TCU, was treated this spring and summer for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.