Guy, Phillips to be released as rebuild continues

The change continues in New England.

As Jerod Mayo settles into his new role as head coach and Eliot Wolf continues to take over personnel responsibilities, the roster moves have begun.

The NFL free agency period officially starts March 13, but with legal tampering in the cards and the draft about a month later, New England has started to free up some money and roster spots as the rebuild ramps up. After announcing 17 new coaches on Monday, Tom Pelissero reported minutes later that Lawrence Guy and Adrian Phillips will both be released by the team.

Guy put out a statement on social media seemingly within seconds of the report.

“Thank you New England you welcomed my family and I for the past seven years and always made us feel at home,” he wrote. “The community we build the people we met and the communities we impacted thank you for always welcoming us with open arms. I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.”

Guy was a consummate professional here for his entire seven-year stint with the Patriots. Guy was a key piece to the 2018 championship puzzle in his second year with the team. In those seven years, Guy was as dependable as they come, starting every regular season game in five of the seven years. Guy finishes his Patriots career with 202 solo tackles (regular season) and 15 solo tackles in eight playoff games. Guy also had 10.5 regular season sacks and one forced fumble and an interception in 2019. In the postseason, Guy had one fumble recovery and 1.5 sacks.

Most importantly, Guy was a fantastic human being off the field. Guy was a Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee and held numerous events for the community, helping with single mothers by throwing baby showers, working with cancer patients and other events throughout his time here. In the locker room or dealing with the media, Guy always had a smile and jokes to go around.

Now 33 years old, Guy could immediately bring locker room morale up wherever he goes while still providing some stout run stuffing defense. He’s still got some gas in the tank to get to the QB when needed too.

As for Phlilips, when he initially joined New England in 2020, he quickly became a favorite of Bill Belichick because of his versatility. Over the last couple of seasons Phillips has lost a step and saw his role decrease significantly, but much like Guy, Phillips has been nothing but professional during his time in Foxborough and was a fantastic locker room guy.

Phillips played all over the place for Belichick and even when he wasn’t happy with play time, rarely (if ever) said anything. Phillips played in every single game he could have during his four years here, starting all of them in 2020 and 13 in 2021. Phillips started just eight games in 2022 and one game a year ago. Phillips finishes his Pats career with six interceptions including one pick-six along with 16 pass break ups, a forced fumble and a sack. He also had 179 solo tackles. The Buffalo game in 2021 was his only postseason appearance with the Pats, where he had six tackles (three solo).

Clearly, money and age played a big factor here and these moves save the Pats about $6 million total. Both of these guys will be big losses in the locker room as the Patriots try to build the culture back up, but on the field, it’s pretty apparent Mayo wants to get younger and faster.

These moves may be tough for some fans to swallow, but it’s just the start of a complete overhaul at 1 Patriot Place.