The Patriots announced Wednesday they have released rookie wide receiver Perez Ashford, veteran wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins and offensive lineman Nick McDonald.

Ashford, 22, was signed by the Patriots on July 19. He was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as a rookie free agent out of Northern Illinois on April 30, but was released by the Browns on May 30. The 5-foot-11, 182-pounder, played in 48 games during his four collegiate seasons and finished with 110 receptions for 1, 192 yards.

FOXBORO -- Through the first four training camp practices of the summer for the Patriots, here are five players who have seen their stock rise, and five others who have stumbled:

Five Up

FOXBORO — Tom Brady can count on hearing the question throughout training camp. How will his new-look offense do this season?

For years, he’s had Wes Welker as a go-to receiver when the chips are down. He had Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. He had Brandon Lloyd in the last half of last season. He had Danny Woodhead out of the backfield when the pass rush was in his face.


FOXBORO — The Patriots announced Monday night that defensive lineman Armond Armstead has undergone surgery, and added that at this time, there’s no timetable for his return to football.

“Armond Armstead had surgery to treat an infection,” read the statement issued by the team after Monday night’s practice. “Armond is in good condition and is expected to make a full recovery.  A timetable has not been set for his return to football.”

FOXBORO — Before taking the field for a nighttime practice inside Gillette Stadium. Tom Brady took the occasion on the field Monday to join in the chorus of praise for the newest member of the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Brady played with Tedy Bruschi for nine seasons from 2000-2008 and the two won three Super Bowls together.

But what Brady recalled Monday were the personal moments he had with Bruschi, getting to know the man as well as the player.

Connecticut state police searched a pond at Pine Lake Park in Aaron Hernandez‘s hometown of Bristol, Conn., Monday morning, and Hartford’s WFSB-TV reported that they are looking for a weapon that could be connected to the murder investigation.

Authorities have yet to find the gun they say was used in the murder of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found near Hernandez’s home in North Attleboro on June 17. Hernandez, who pleaded not guilty, is being held without bail.

FOXBORO — The Patriots just wrapped up their third camp practice of the summer, a Sunday morning session that ran just over two hours on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium. The first padded practice of the summer, here are a few notes:

FOXBORO — Bill Belichick said Sunday morning the issue that’s sidelined defensive lineman Armond Armstead through the first three days of camp is not related to any issues the USC product has had in the past.

Armstead suffered a heart attack as a collegian, and ended up playing last year in the CFL, where he finished with 44 tackles and six sacks to help Toronto to a Grey Cup championship. He was placed on the non-football illness list at the start of camp earlier this month, and hasn’t been seen at practice.

FOXBORO -- Over the first two training camp practices, it’s clear that the Patriots rookie receivers are being thrown into the deep end of the practice pool.

FOXBORO — Tim Tebow made his training camp debut Friday outside Gillette Stadium.

The former teammate of Aaron Hernandez at Florida was asked his reaction to the murder charge against the former Patriots tight end.